Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today held a reception at the House of Commons to highlight the economic benefits of cruise tourism to all parts of the UK.
The event was sponsored by Royston Smith MP, Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen, whose constituency includes the Port of Southampton, the busiest cruise hub in the UK. The cross-party event was addressed by Baroness Vere, Maritime Minister, and Shadow Maritime Minister Mike Kane MP, and 25 MPs representing different parties from all parts of the UK, joined cruise industry representatives.
Maritime Minister Baroness Vere said: “The cruise industry has been vital for our economy, having contributed £9.4 billion, as well as creating jobs for thousands across the country. However, its impact goes beyond the economy and is a crucial part of our heritage which showcases the best the UK has to offer.
“The pandemic halted the growth of the sector, and that is why we jointly created the Cruise Industry and Government Forum – a platform to discuss shared goals in line with Maritime 2050. Government will continue to support the growth of the sector, as it enters a year of renewal.”
Shadow Maritime Minister Mike Kane MP said: “The cruise industry has been working closely with parliamentarians over the last three years, allowing it to have successfully returned following the pandemic, and to it making progress in supporting the net zero agenda. I was delighted to meet with representatives of the industry at the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) parliamentary reception. Labour recognises the industry’s crucial role in bringing tourists to coastal towns and cities in all four nations of the UK. We also look forward to working with the industry as it continues its towards making cruise travel more sustainable, through innovating new technologies, and investing in our net zero future.”
Royston Smith MP (Southampton Itchen) said: “I was delighted to sponsor the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reception in the House of Commons. The cruise industry is extremely important to my constituency, and our local economy, supporting many regional businesses and generating employment opportunities in cruise tourism.
“The cruise industry is not only important to Southampton but to the UK as a whole and brings great economic benefits to our country. I was pleased that MPs, Ministers, and key stakeholders involved in the industry were able to discuss the importance of cruise tourism to the UK, our economy and local communities.”
Andy Harmer, CLIA Managing Director for UK and Ireland, said: “There are thousands of businesses, including travel agents, tour operators and hotels, up and down the country, many of which are small or family-run, which rely on a successful cruise industry. The economic benefits of cruise tourism to port cities are well documented and today was about recognizing how these benefits extend beyond ports. Today’s event was an important opportunity to bring together travel agent partners, cruise lines, port representatives with Government Ministers, MPs, and officials, to show that we are a connected industry with an extensive and diverse supply chain, making a positive impact across the UK.”
The reception gave MPs an opportunity to hear more about the contributions of the cruise industry to local economies across the UK, and to speak to the senior cruise line and travel agent representatives who are spearheading its domestic growth. An excellent turnout from MPs demonstrated the growing awareness of the importance of cruise tourism to local economies.