The 26th annual Cruise Shipping Miami Convention closed Thursday with participants—cruise line representatives and exhibitors—calling it an overall success. The global exhibition and conference drew 10,800 attendees between Monday and Thursday, March 15-18.
According to UBM International Media, the event organizers, attendance at the world’s largest annual cruise industry conference and exhibition was up 7 percent over 2009.
“The experience on the exhibition floor mirrored the upbeat tone and positive messages coming out of our conference sessions,” said Michael Kazakoff, vice president of UBM International Media. “Four new cruise ships have been ordered in the past three weeks by MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises, and that is very welcome news to our participating companies. After a dismal 2009 for the cruise industry, it seems that our attendees are optimistic that we’re starting to see a turnaround in 2010.”
Two major companies, Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line, both announced above-average cruise bookings and price increases on their cruise products within the past two weeks. Kazakoff said that trend, along with the ship orders, bodes well for the global cruise business.
“A new ship order for a major line means business for hundreds of suppliers,” he said. “And higher cruise prices mean higher yields, happier shareholders and a healthier cruise industry.”
Kazakoff noted that exhibitors in all sectors of the exhibition reported heavy trade show traffic throughout the three days and lots of inquiries from buyers.
“Traffic was consistent throughout the week, right up until the close of the exhibition yesterday at 4 p.m.,” he said. “People came to Miami ready to do business, and I received many reports of contracts signed and deals struck during the week.”
Four days of conference sessions covered pertinent industry issues including shipbuilding and design, destination development, shipboard management, technology and the future of the cruise industry.
The 27th annual Cruise Shipping Miami Convention is scheduled for March 14-17, 2011, at the Miami Beach Convention Center.