CLIA executives address industry issues

The top executives of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) spoke to delegates gathered at Cruise Shipping Miami last week, offering their views on cruising’s safety record and policies, as well as the industry’s prospects and commitment to growth in the coming months and years. Howard Frank, vice-chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and chairman of CLIA, said, in reference to the Costa Concordia tragedy, “As a cruise ship operator, there is nothing more heart-wrenching than the loss of one of your passengers or crew members and on behalf of the entire Carnival Corporation & plc family, I want to again extend our deepest sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones in this tragic accident. The cruise industry maintains an excellent safety record and every cruise operator recognizes that the safety and security of our guests and crew is our top priority… To that end, CLIA and its member lines are examining their safety practices and identifying areas for improvement.”He added, “While the review is in its early stages, our industry has already taken additional steps to strengthen safety procedures beyond what is currently required by law. Our new muster policy demonstrates our industry’s willingness to move forward voluntarily to identify industry best practices and rapidly implement enhanced safety procedures when appropriate. We have faced setbacks in the past, and in each case we have shown tremendous resiliency… and managed to continue to improve the health of our industry and grow the number of passengers from around the world. We have every reason to look to the future with confidence that cruising will remain a vibrant industry and we will continue to build on the last thirty-plus years of extraordinary growth.”Citing a 7.5% average annual growth in passengers since 1980, Frank drew attention to the industry’s investment in growth. “Between now and 2015, 25 new ships will join the CLIA member line fleet. At the end of that period, the fleet will total 231 ships with more than 361,000 beds – enabling cruise lines to attract new passengers, visit new ports of call and establish new markets worldwide,”he said. (