Kusadası (Turkey), the gateway to Ephesus, was for a week the capital of the cruise industry worldwide hosting the 54th MedCruise General Assembly, May 7th -10th. More than 140 delegates from MedCruise port and associate members, cruise lines executives, international press representatives and local authorities gathered together to discuss the latest trends in the industry and develop synergies towards sustainable cruise services.
Latest tasks developed by the Board of Directors and the four Working Groups regarding the cooperation among ports and destinations, the new edition of the Professional Development Course, the new marketing plan, the North Africa and Black Sea regions promotion actions, the cruise-industry events participation, the European Union affairs, new projects and studies, sustainability and environment, cooperation with other Associations, and source markets analysis were discussed during the Internal Matters Session.
During the session Trends in the Med, MedCruise members along with cruise line executives and international press representatives had the chance to discuss in detail about the cruise industry latest developments. Itinerary planning and deployment, ship repair and maintenance, the luxury market, port operations and cruise activities in the East Med were also discussed and analysed in the plenary sessions.
In line with the MedCruise tradition, all port and associate members had a first-class opportunity to enjoy sessions of B2B-meetings with cruise line executives and international press representatives.
MedCruise attendees had a busy 4-day schedule which kicked off with a press conference and welcome reception. Highlight of the event was the gala dinner at the Celsus Library in Ephesus, where guests had once in a lifetime experience at the breath-taking atmosphere of Ephesus. Farewell dinner took place at the castle in Pigeon Island overlooking Ege Port Kuşadası and the beautiful view of the town. Three shore excursions were available in which guests had a chance to discover various attractions in Kuşadası such as Ephesus, Şirince Village, Priene and Cave of Zeus.
Airam Diaz, President of Medcruise Association said: "We are honoured to be hosted by our beloved members Ege Port Kuaşdası and Global Ports Holding. Our prestigious Association, as a key member of the industry, is committed to the new opportunities and challenges that are to come. MedCruise members, which handled more than 28 million cruise passenger movements in 2018 for first time in our Association’s history, are contributing at the sustainable growth of the cruise industry during this bright period.”
Aziz Gungor, General Manager of Ege Port Kuşadası and Bodrum Cruise Port said: “Ege Port Kuşadası is proud to have hosted this key event and having had the opportunity of welcoming the Association to Kuşadası, Turkey as the region regains its popularity. It has been a fruitful event, bringing together key industry stakeholders to discuss the cruise industry in the region. This event has allowed us to proudly showcase our destination, which is gateway to the Ephesus, to our esteemed guests.”
Emre Sayın, CEO Global Ports Holding said: “We are delighted to work alongside MedCruise to promote cruise trips in the Mediterranean region as we share a common mission. The event has been a successful instance of bringing the industry together to discuss challenges and themes, as well as developing friendships between those that are passionate about the region. As operator of the hosting port we were happy to showcase our commitment and operational expertise to all visitors.”
Ege Port Kuşadası, operated by Global Ports Holding, was an excellent host to all the guests, who enjoyed a spectacular time in Kuşadası and are looking forward to meeting again in the 55th General Assembly that will take place in Antibes (France) next October.