SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Tomorrow marks the opening of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean and one of the best ways to target the cruise industry and maximize its benefits. The four-day event will gather 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders and 100 senior cruise executives for a series of meetings, workshops and networking functions aimed at developing understanding, relationships and business.
“The FCCA Conference & Trade Show puts cruise tourism stakeholders in the middle of the action,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. “From tour operators launching their first tour to destinations building a new port, this is the place where decisions and developments are reached and relationships are made to pave the way for future business.”
Taking place until September 30, the event launches tomorrow with the official Trade Show opening at 11 AM, inaugurating the largest trade show in the event’s history with innovations like the first-ever Purchasing Initiative to coincide with the announcement of a new FCCA sourcing program. The Conference opening ceremony will follow at 5:30 PM, featuring a keynote address by Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc, along with remarks by high-ranking government officials from Puerto Rico and the unveiling of a new strategic partnership between the FCCA and Aquila’s Center for Cruise Excellence.
These events will commence the opportunities to learn from and develop business and relationships with successful stakeholders and cruise executives who decide where ships call, what sells onboard and how to invest in destination products and infrastructure.
Opportunities include one-on-one meetings between Conference delegates and pre-selected cruise executives of their choice, along with workshops focusing on shore excursions, supplying products to the cruise industry, best practices for safety and security measures in destinations and ports, and insight into how the industry’s latest and upcoming trends applies to the audience through input by Micky Arison, Orlando Ashford, President, Holland America Line, and Adam Goldstein, President and COO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.
Plus, the event features networking functions to foster relationship building between attendees and executives, while displaying some of the preparations by Puerto Rico, which partnered with the government and local businesses to coordinate the logistics and display their rich culture, diverse destination products and improved infrastructure.
“The FCCA appreciates San Juan’s and the entire country’s efforts and commitment to making the 23rd annual FCCA Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “It has pulled out all the stops to woo the cruise executives and attendees, allowing all to see the offerings of and improvements that have led it to impressive recent growth that we look forward to continuing.”
Puerto Rico knows the significance of hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. After last hosting it in 2011, it experienced a 10-percent increase of FCCA Member Line passenger arrivals between 2010 and 2013 and continued this growth, last year welcoming nearly 20 percent more than 2010.
These numbers extend far beyond the cruise pier; they impact the entire destination’s economy, with $198.2 million in passenger, crew and cruise line spending, in addition to $75 million in wages generated through cruise tourism during the 2014-15 season, per the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) 2015 study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.
San Juan’s growth in 2013 generated approximately $13.7 million in passenger spending, $3.1 million in crew spending, $3.4 million in cruise line expenditures and $7.2 million in employment wages—an additional $27.4 million, not including indirect contributions like supplies purchased by tour operators and restaurants, as well as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests.
If FCCA Member Line passenger arrivals increase the same 10 percent in 2018, it would lead to estimated increases of $16.1 million in passenger spending, $3.7 million in crew spending, $3.9 million in cruise line spending and $8.4 million in employment wages—a total of $32.1 million more than 2015.