[LIVEBLOG] State of the Industry 2019

Hello and welcome to the 2019 liveblog from the State of the Industry panel from Seatrade Cruise Global. Here’s some general info about it:

When: Tuesday 9 April 2019 | 9:30 am – 11:30 am
What: Topics include,Sustainable Tourism, Innovation, Converting New Cruisers, Environmental Initiatives, Emerging Markets
Who: Moderator will be BBC World News’ Lucy Hockings
Part 1 Participants: Frank J. Del Rio (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.) Arnold W. Donald (Carnival Corporation & PLC. ) Richard D. Fain (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) Pierfrancesco Vago (MSC Cruises)
Part 2 Keynote Speakers: Christine Duffy (Carnival Cruise Line) Lisa Lutoff-Perlo (Celebrity Cruises) Jan Swartz (Princess Cruises)

Archived Live Blog:

Greg Dragonetti

And that concludes the panels for today. Thank you everyone for following along.

I’ll be back with the Carnival Presser shortly. Stay tuned.

Greg Dragonetti

Lutoff-Perlo: The industry is capacity controlled. Tourism is probably the number one industry in the world and cruising is just a small portion. I have a positive outlook as long as were mindful and proactive.

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Duffy: in 10 years we won’t have to have announcement of the first all woman panel.

It’s not one size fits all. That’s one of the interesting things about this industry.

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Swartz: there’s enormous potential in this industry. There’s this desire to see the beauty of this earth and spend time with the ones that we love.

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Duffy: 50% of our guests only need a 5 hour drive to a carnival ship.

Lutoff-Perlo: 82% of our guests need to get on a plane.

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Swartz: from a consumer perceptive we’ve all met people that say I’ll never cruise. I think that it’s our job in this room to convey this incredible experience, diversity of people you’ll meet and strength of the relations you’ll make unlike any vacation experience.

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Lutoff-Perlo: When you look at the things that are the perceptions, when we say 50 million people flew into Barcelona and only a fraction go to cruise ships. That’s the perception.

We do have to confront these realities.

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Lutoff-Perlo: We have to be proactive with this and acknowledge perception is the reality. So many of the things we do are so good but there are things we can do better.

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Duffy: We’re a complicated but there’s alot of things that worry us but most of those are out of our control. We want to be there and leave things better than we find them. We drive economic value, but we need to do more with the communities.

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Swartz: What we do is partner with local communities so that when we go to places they feel good about us going there,

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Lutoff-Perlo: People want to engage more and more with the brands that share their value.

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Lutoff-Perlo: Guests always rave about the crew.

Swartz: We sit in the middle of a powerful trend. Consumers purchase experience rather than things.

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Duffy: We still believe that it’s about the software which is the people. For them serving people brings them joy. They love to do that. These are the people we look for when hiring.

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Swartz: Our business is all about the people. We always say happy crew, happy guests.

In a world where Blues cant get along with red it astonishes me that the crews get along on our ships.

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Lutoff-Perlo: The industry is robust. It’s growing. It’s dynamic. More and more people are thinking about cruising as a vacation.

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Duffy: I started a job as a travel agent only because I was too short to be a Pan Am flight attendant.

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Duffy: It’s finally business imperative that you need diversity. Diversity is inviting someone to a dance. Inclusion is inviting someone to dance.

I also believe in this generation that it is much more of a shared responsibility. I think this next generation is thinking alot more about shared responsibility and a shared lifestyle (about parenting)

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Lutoff-Perlo: I never thought I’d see the day where one of our Greek captains would dress his daughter up in a captains uniform.

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Lutoff-Perlo: Our guests love it. The best part of the day (National womens day) was how engaged our guests were.

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Lutoff-Perlo: We’ve gone from 5 to 20% for female officers on the bridge. We have two female captains.

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Lutoff-Perlo: I knew there’s a huge opportunity (when she took over) to significantly increase the balance of gender.

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Duffy: The fact that we’re here sends a great message to all women in the cruise industry.

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Duffy: This event’s been going on for 30 years and we’ve finally made it!

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And that’s it for part one. Now taking the stage are Christine from CCL, Lisa, from Celebrity, and Jan from Princess.

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Vago: We are a family business so we have values. Teamwork is paramount. People are paramount.

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Fain: I don’t think there’s a good answer to that. One style doesn’t fit all. It’s always about the people. You have to lead with integrity.

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Donald; Look you got to listen. Listen, listen, listen. If you listen well and play off of that you can pull people off of that and let them achieve.

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Hockings: What’s your core motto?

Del Rio: you lead by example. I have the best team around me. We lead the industry in almost every financial metric possible.

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Fain: The real experience on a cruise is the people. Then man and women that interact with you. So we want to make it easier on them.

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Hockings: Can I ask you about tech?

Donald: We’re in the hospitality business and our one goal is to exceed expectations and technology enables us to do that. People want to customize, personalize everything.

Donald cuts into Richard to talk about the Ocean Medallion. 7 out of 10,000 said no thanks for privacy concerns.

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Frank Del Rio: I’m very excited about the resurgence of the eastern Med. I’m rooting for Turkey.

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Donald: (regarding over saturation.) We can be part of the solution. There’s like 80 islands in the Caribbean. Vago cuts in and says I’m building an Island.

Then Frank cuts in there and is now arguing with Lucy and tells her she’s only looking at the negatives. (round of applause.) ……that just happened.

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Richard Fain: All of us public extensive sustainability reports. The people in this room are some of the strongest advocate to get the message out (regarding perception of environmental emissions)

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Stand by for photos. The cell signal is terrible as like everyone in this conference is sharing the signal.

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Frank Del Rio: It’s still a more efficient way to transport thousands and thousands people around.

Richard Fain: The larger the ship gets in many cases, the less carbon footprint.

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Frank Del Rio: Over time all ships get bigger. As we invent new and innovation things to do onboard..you need more space. Over time you’ll see that trend continue.

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Pierfrancesco Vago: We’ll be announcing today an important announcement with Miami (hint..hint)

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Pierfrancesco Vago: The itineraries are a main driver when passengers chose a cruise. Whenever we have bigger ships in service a ship becomes a destination in and of it’s self.

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Richard Fain: It’s not one size fits all. One of the nice things about the industry is that we haven’t homogenized ourselves. And the new players give us new ideas. The trend is towards appealing towards more generational travel. The trend is to continually to approve. Not to be bigger, longer, greener, it’s to improve.

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Donald: We’ll see bigger ships and we’ll see smaller ships. We’re constraint by capacity.

You want to constantly reinvigorate.

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Del Rio: To have a vibrant industry you need new blood (referring to new competitors.)

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Richard Fain: We are constantly thinking about things that impact our future. We’re constantly looking for new things.

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Arnold Donald: “What do you need to cruise: Time and money. And who has that? Retirees”

That’s a bit strange.That’s always been their bread-and-butter

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Arnold Donald: We’re a very small industry. There’s cities that have smaller numbers than cruising.

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Hockings: It’s been said that there may be a down turn coming.

Del Rio “It will happen sooner or later. But we don’t see anything on the horizon”

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Lucy Hockings now on the stage.

“I want to thank you for dragging me away from Brexit.”

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Adam: 10.4% of the global economy is considered to be tourism… This is greater than the world economy as a whole.

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Gotta be honest. This is pretty awkward/random to have as a lead in to the signature event. Just discussing a lot of high-brow ideas about bringing together ministers and discussing travel with them.

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Adam: As tourism grows and countries handle more and more passengers. There’s pressures that come along with that.

Zurab Pololikashvili: Of course sustainability comes along with that. We’re looking at all needs that come along with that. Conservation is a very important part.

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Adam: What would you like to achieve.

Zurab Pololikashvili: My priority is education. Courses on cruise business that we can create together. There are a lot of brilliant ideas entrepreneurs have that we can bring together from all over the world.

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The Sec General discussing world tourism as a whole (land, air, and sea) Our goal is by 2020 to have 1.4 billion international travelers.

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Adam back to the stage. He’ll be interviewing a Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization. He’s from the country of Georgia and I’m not even going to attempt to spell his last name.

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“We are cruise. Each of us, all together. I invite you to stop by the We Are Cruise and share your story.”

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CLIA is showing a video about the positive social impacts. Not surprisingly it focuses on Italy which has historically been anti-cruise politically.

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Kelly Craighead on the stage as the new president of CLIA. Talking about her background in government and how much she’s looking forward to getting involved in the cruise industry. “It’s my honor to be representation the leaders, innovators… in the industry.”

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“if the air condition isn’t working in one of the rooms. just tell us.”…thats grim.

But seriously though, The Miami Beach Conference center is brand spankin’ new. You can smell fresh pain even!

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This is the first year in quite some time that it’s back in Miami so a lot of thank yous going out.

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Starting with the traditional Hong Kong tourism advert. They sponsor pretty much all of the event.

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