Santa Cruz of Tenerife, capital of the global cruise industry
Once again, many of the connectivity industry´s largest players flocked to the Canary Islands to attend Routes Africa 2016, an annual African route development forum, held on the island of Tenerife, and which brought together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to improve connectivity to, from and within the African continent.
Tenerife also hosted, on the 21st to 23rd of September, the eleventh edition of the Seatrade Med Cruise, the most important cruise fair and held, for the first time, outside the Mediterranean. For three days, the island of Tenerife became the global cruise industry´s world capital, with more than 2,500 attendees, 500 exhibitors, industry professionals from 73 countries, including 23 national port authorities and over a hundred heads of major cruise lines.
During the opening ceremony, participants highlighted the commitment shown by the authorities and companies to bring this meeting to the island. The national director of CLIA Spain, Alfredo Serrano, said that cruise traffic alone reached over 23 million passengers last year, "creating wealth and value" in the destinations. He carried on saying that in the Canary Islands, this was "boosted by its geographical location and seasonality." Santiago García-Milá, president of the International Association of Ports stressed, in this regard, the need to "add value" to the cruise destination economy, citing the case of Barcelona. Finally, the general director of Seatrade, Andrew Williams, pointed out that this sector is experiencing an "unprecedented growth" with shipyard orders totaling 6 billion, while emphasizing the Port of Santa Cruz´s “potential”