Seatrade Med Keynote Speech Tuesday November 20, 2012
Chris, Christine, Manfredi, George, Presidents, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Tuesday November 28th 2012 is a key moment in Marseille’s 26 centuries of maritime history.
Although marked by many events, flourishing at times, decadent at others in particular during the 19th century Continental Blockade- the City’s maritime trade had never before acquired a worldwide prominence that could bring together, as it has today, under one roof, all the world cruise industry’s decision makers, whether operators, distributors or partners.
All of us here in Marseille would like to express our deep gratitude to Chris HAYMAN and all the Seatrade team and to Michael KAZAKOFF, who put our motivation to the test at Cannes in 2010, and to Giovanni SPADONI, past president of MEDCRUISE, for selecting Marseille as host city for the ninth edition of Seatrade Med.
To repay the trust placed in us, we have contributed to the event’s organization not only our know-how, but also the tremendous synergy that exists between the institutions and forty companies working to develop the cruise market in Marseille under the umbrella of the Marseille Provence Cruise Club.
The Club acts as a genuine task force, led by its three founding members: the City of Marseille, the Marseille Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Marseille Port Authority, the GPMM. This unique situation means it can be a coordinator, a one-stop contact point, a communicator and, above all, a promoter of the cruise industry.
Developing this market is totally in line with the three founding members’ strategies: •
For the City, with its four million visitors in 2012, it underlines its
policy in favor of tourism; •
For the Chamber of Commerce and Industry -the oldest in the world
founded in 1599- it is an integral part of its drive to develop the local economy and sectors of excellence;
It is the Chamber of Commerce that manages Marseille’s international airport, more than 8 million passengers each year and forty or so flights daily to the major European cities, plus –and this is a real scoop- New York direct twice a week as from May 2013; •
As for the Port of Marseille, France’s number one cruise port, its
strategy is geared to those of its two partners. Since 2002, it has invested more than sixty million Euros to provide cruise companies with five megacruise ship berths and three terminals able to handle 18 000 turnaround passengers simultaneously.
Joining the three former establishments, the private consortium MPCT,
which gathers COSTA CROCIERE and MSC is investing 1 million euros to arrange the new terminal 24.
The convergence of these strategies, shared by all the industry professionals, explains the vitality of the cruise market here in Marseille.
From 18 000 passengers in 1995, the cruise terminals will handle 910 000 passengers in 2012, rising to 1 150 000 in 2013, including 310 000 and 350 000 turnaround passengers respectively over these two years.
These growth rates far exceed those seen in the rest of Europe and represent a doubling of traffic between 2008 and 2013 and a three-fold increase in turnaround passengers over the same period.
At the same time, Marseille has been undergoing profound change. As part of a state-sponsored operation of national interest, to which all the territorial authorities
transformation. Total investment amounts to 7.5 billion Euros, with each Euro of public money attracting 4 to 5 Euros of private investment.
The operation, known as Euroméditerranée, is the largest urban regeneration project ever carried out in Europe.
Not to be outdone, Marseille is bubbling, Marseille is coming alive, Marseille is on the move. Indeed, we are today just a few weeks away from the celebrations, on January 12th 2013, to mark Marseille’s European Capital of Culture year.
To this end, the City and its partners have invested 650 million Euros in building and renovating cultural venues...
Each day of 2013 will feature a new program of festivities, as you will discover when you visit the destinations stand; I’m sure, you too, will all want to become regular repeaters.
The eighty towns and villages around Marseille are taking an active part in this European cultural program, conferring on Marseille the undisputed and often envied title of Gateway to Provence.
With such prestigious events, unrivalled air, rail and road access for passengers, pre-cruise and post-cruise, and an extensive catalog of varied excursions to the heart of Provence, our city’s cruise sector is set to grow even further.
We have set ourselves a target of 1.6 million cruise passengers by 2015 / 2016.
To this end, the Marseille Port Authority, GPMM, backed by the territorial authorities, is set to invest just over 30 million Euros in improving access from the sea to ensure port calls can be made in all weathers.
Furthermore, since 2010, the GPMM has restarted ship repair activities at dry docks 8 and 9, with a 25-year concession granted to the Genoese shipyard SAN GIORGIO DEL PORTO, the parent company of Chantier Naval de Marseille, CNM. Over the past 24 months, forty ships have undergone repairs at the dry docks, including 16 large cruise ships.
The increasing number and size of large cruise ships in the Mediterranean and the pressing needs of the major operators have led the Port of Marseille to re-commission its dry dock number 10, the largest dry dock in Europe and third largest in the world. A 25-year concession to operate the facilities has been signed with a consortium that includes the Chantier Naval de Marseille, Mariotti Shipyards and STX France. Once renovated, the dry dock should
enter service towards the end of 2014, providing valuable and reliable facilities for the one hundred seventy or so cruise ships plying the Mediterranean in the high season.
maintenance facilities and able to respond to more urgent situations. For this edition, and for the first time at the Seatrade convention, you will be able to visit the SYRREN (Super Yacht Refit and Repair Networking) pavilion. The pavilion is the venue for a two-day B to B convention, with scheduled meetings organized between repair yards from the Provence and Côte d’Azur regions and yacht owners and captains. One thousand meetings already have been arranged.
The pavilion’s inclusion has been prompted by the three thousand yachts that pass through these repair yards each year for refitting.
To conclude, we can say that the Marseille marketplace has shown itself to be a powerhouse for growth in the cruise sector, with its combination of marketing skills and cruise ship maintenance.
But what use is a powerhouse if it’s not connected to anything?
With this in mind, we are today organizing a lunch, sponsored by our friends at Royal Caribbean, in order to bring together representatives from ports in Provence, Côte d’Azur and Corsica and cruise operator executives. The meeting is designed to be a marketing operation benefiting all concerned, since the view from Florida remains a global view, one of a market that encompasses the whole of the French Western Mediterranean. Let us hope that this initiative to take the debate up a level will avoid the tendency towards unfair competition between ports.
We hope that, after attending this ninth edition of Seatrade Med, each one of you here will leave Marseille with a feeling of satisfaction and an irresistible yearning to return to the waters of the French Mediterranean.
Rest assured, nonetheless, that our teams will do their utmost to ensure that you enjoy our Provençal hospitality.
Lastly, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the 71 companies who supported our venture, to the 20 sponsors who made sure budget deadlines were met and to the teams at the City of Marseille, Chamber of Commerce, Port and Cruise Club who, with energy, dedication and commitment, worked hand in hand with Seatrade to organize this grand event.
In closing, I would like to pay special tribute to Jacques NACER, President of the South Corsica Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who passed away recently in such tragic circumstances. Be this ninth edition of Seatrade Med Successful. Thank you Jacques TRUAU President Marseille Provence Cruise Club