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The 2012-2013 cruise season will bring an estimated 347,584 passengers to Cartagena, which represents an increase of 14% compared to last year. Photo: Proexport
The 2012-2013 cruise season will bring an estimated 347,584 passengers to Cartagena, which represents an increase of 14% compared to last year.
Proexport Colombia's President, María Claudia Lacouture, pointed out that "this represents an important growth, considering that, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, the 2011-2012 season brought in 256,075 passengers on ships, docking 165 times in the country."
During the upcoming season, 193 calls are planned at the Cartagena Cruise Ship Terminal, twenty eight more than during the 2011-2012 season. This growth has been characterized by new lines, like Kristina Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises, which are revealing of Colombia's ranking in the Finnish and Brithish marketplaces.
The schedule highlights the return of Disney cruises, docking three times with an estimated 7,200 passengers. This cruise line had not visited the port since 2008.
According to the Cartagena de Indias Cruise Ship Terminal, "the arrival of the new cruise lines reflects Colombia's ranking as a tourist destination and consolidates Cartagena as a paramount city for the cruise line industry, having a positive impact on the country's image abroad and the local economy".
Between last March 12 and 15, Proexport, along with the two ports of Cartagena and Santa Marta, and sea agencies and tour operators, participated at Cruise Shipping Miami, the most important specialized fair in the world, where Colombia was promoted before the industry as an international cruise line destination, showing a clear diversification trend of the demand and the offering of the already consolidated destinations, with requests for Pacific and fluvial cruise destinations.
Moreover, the country has gained importance, not only as a transit port but also as a port of embarkment, representing an increase of the impact generated by this industry on the local economy. The average spend per passenger during their stay on port is estimated at $97 to $140 dollars.
Colombia is a Platinum Member of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the most important in the sector, which has allowed the entity to create opportunities by participating at important venues for the country, its ports and entrepreneurs.
One of the results of Proexport's activity at these venues has been to accomplish being elected as host city to the FCCA Conference & Trade Show for Cartagena de Indias, an event which will gather the 14 most important cruise lines in the world, tourism authorities from worldwide cruise destinations, and almost one thousand people from the industry in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Central America, to be held in 2013.
"This is the single most important event of the Florida and Caribbean Cruise Association, and will allow us to strengthen Colombia as a destination for cruise lines in the world," said the President of Proexport.