Airam Diaz Pastor, Commercial Director/Director, Projects & Studies, Puertos de Tenerife/MedCruise welcomed delegates to Seatrade Cruise Med 2016, which opened yesterday in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, with a rallying call to cruise lines to bring more passengers to Tenerife.
Mr Pastor said: “We are delighted to announce that there will be a direct flight from New York to Tenerife by the end of 2016 which will enable us to better tap into the vast North American source market of nearly 12 million passengers annually.” Currently those numbers account for just 90,000 annually visiting the island by cruise ship.
Highlighting the new Santa Cruz cruise terminal which boasts more than 400m of berthing capacity and also announcing that the Port of Tenerife will be the only port to supply LNG in the area, Mr Pastor added that Tenerife has already seen a 12.4% increase of cruise passengers from 2014 to nearly 1 million in 2015 and anticipates this growth to continue.
Enthusiasm which was shared by Celestyal Cruises CEO, Mr Kyriakas Anastassiadis, who made a keynote address on behalf of CLIA to more than 250 delegates and said: “the European waters are avenues to generate economic growth and cruise related jobs currently accounting for 360,000.” He added: “Thanks mainly to European shipyards, 75 firm and option cruise newbuilds are planned through to 2026 which will grow the job market further.”
Santa Cruz de Tenerife recorded over 300 calls with 644,000 cruise passenger movements last year. Statistics reveal that Puertos de Tenerife – Ports of Tenerife; the local port authority which is in charge also of Los Christianos, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro – recorded a total of 506 calls with 933,161 passengers in its four ports.
The Canary Islands have seen a spectacular growth of cruise tourism recently. Santa Cruz, for example, recorded only 166 calls with some 125,000 passengers back in 2000.
Seatrade Cruise Med, hosted by Port of Tenerife, continues until Friday 23 September at the International Trade Fair and Congress in Santa Cruz, Tenerife.