Call for Gulf 'cruise association'
Gulf cruise industry could 'rival Caribbean' if region works together
Tourism heads have stated the need for a regional ‘cruise association’ to be set up.
The aim of the association would be to work together to promote the Middle East as a cruise destination to the international cruise line industry, as well as to improve standards of operation for cruise liners in the region.
Helen Beck, regional director, Royal Caribbean Cruises said that if the region as a whole worked together to encourage the cruise industry, the Middle East had the opportunity to “rival the Caribbean” as a cruise destination.
“Every year between seven and 10 ships are introduced in the cruise industry and the opportunity for sailing in the winter is fairly limited,” she pointed out.
Beck enouraged the formation of a single industry body to work with.
“This region has a real opportunity to establish itself as a competitor to the Caribbean, but it has to be done properly. We [cruise liners] would enjoy having a single point of contact to work with. I encourage all the destinations around the Gulf to work together and form an organisation. That would be fundamental to the regions success as a cruise destination,” added Beck.