More than 150 attendees, including FCCA Platinum Members-key cruise tourism stakeholders-and over 30 high-ranking executives from the FCCA’s 19 Member Lines, gathered in New Orleans for the FCCA Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council (PAMAC) Conference.
The three-day event that took place from June 22-24 featured a series of meetings, workshops and networking events to discuss industry trends and standards and develop relationships and mutual benefits for the cruise lines and members' companies and destinations.
Port St. Maarten was represented by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo and Government Relations Liaison Bertrand Peters.
“Attendance of PAMAC allowed us to inform and update the FCCA and Cruise Executives about current developments in Sint Maarten especially after the FCCA visit to the country back in May where they met with the parliamentary permanent committee for Tourism and Economic Affairs and with representatives of the then soon to be established St. Maarten Economic Cruise Association (SECA).
“I was able to say that SECA is now a legal entity which already has hit the ground running when it had its first official board meeting onboard the Oasis of the Seas on June 14 to discuss the challenges facing the cruise sector and to set up a plan of action to address them. A day earlier, the notarial deed was signed at Faride Eloisa Elixie Tjon Civil Law Notary. The FCCA and Cruise Executives were very pleased to hear about this and commended Port St. Maarten for its continued pro-activeness and seriousness when it comes to the country’s cruise sector.
“We had discussions with the cruise industry’s most influential decision makers. We want to foster mutual growth and that is the main goal of the FCCA as was pointed out by its President Michele Paige. It was an opportunity to network and better understand each other especially when we look at the different developments. The cruise industry is never stagnant. It’s innovative, and we have to be there to grow and improve,” CEO Mark Mingo said.
Cruise executives gave some presentations of their own to promote mutual benefits with the Platinum Members. Andy Stuart, president and Chief Operations Officer, Norwegian Cruise Line, discussed cruise line destination development; Christine Duffy, president, Carnival Cruise Line, presented 'Carnival and New Orleans: Beyond Business'; and Giora Israel, SVP, Global Port & Destination Development Group, Carnival Corp. & plc, spoke on the opportunities and challenges connected to Cuba's opening.
The PAMAC event is one of many that the FCCA coordinates for its Platinum Members and Member Lines to stay at the forefront of information about both the industry and destinations while finding ways to maximize the benefits for all.
The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors.
By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.