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by NYC Editor , 01/13/2011

 
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2011 Cruising Industry Outlook: Positive Highlights Shared by Top Cruise and Tourism Executives During Cunard Queen Elizabeth New York Maiden Call Festivities

New York City Cruising and Related North American Economic Figures Signal Importance of Cruising Tourism Sector

13 January 2010 – Set against the backdrop of Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth maiden call to New York, cruise industry leaders and city tourism officials gathered to highlight the region’s positive tourism and cruise outlook. Executives from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shared key information about the cruise industry’s optimistic forecasts for 2011 based on the delivery of 14 new ships, record-breaking passenger numbers and other developments. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) revealed findings that showed an increase in spending from cruise passengers and crew in the City from 2009, and NYC & Company revealed consumer and trade tools to enhance knowledge of New York City pre- and post-cruise visits to the City, among other information.

“The great city of New York and Cunard Line have a history that is interwoven. Our ships have called at New York more than any other port -- with the first call being made by Cunard’s Hibernia in 1845,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “Today marks another historic day, as our newest ship, Queen Elizabeth marks her maiden call into New York, and we continue the legacy we have built with this city.”

Welcoming Queen Elizabeth was George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization, along with national and local travel officials, travel agents, and media. In addition, by official order of proclamation, Fertitta presented a proclamation by Mayor Bloomberg that declared today “Cunard Royal Rendezvous Day” in New York City.

“New York City is a leading cruise port in the U.S. and is demonstrating dramatic growth. As this sector continues to expand, we want to provide more tools to consumers and the travel trade so they can take advantage of pre- and post-cruise opportunities here in the five boroughs, and experience first-hand our City’s unique energy, excitement and diversity. On behalf of Mayor Bloomberg, we congratulate Cunard Line on Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage and today’s historic Cunard Royal Rendezvous,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company.

NYC & Company announced it will broadcast a new 30-second NYC brand spot featuring a welcome message by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in each of the three Cunard Line ships ahead of their arrival to New York City. NYC & Company today launched a new cruise microsite for consumers at nycgo.com/cruisenyc, which provides information on the City’s cruise terminals in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NYC event listings, and suggested travel itineraries for pre- and post-cruise visits to the City. In addition, NYC & Company has upgraded its NYC Travel Training Academy for the travel trade to include relevant cruise information. The organization will encourage cruise agents to complete seven training modules at nycgo.com/training to become Official NYC Specialists and further promote pre- and post-cruise visits to the City.

Senior leaders from CLIA and NYCEDC revealed positive cruise outlook. According to CLIA, 15 million people, including 11.1 million North Americans, cruised in 2010, up from 13.44 million in 2009. Based on that success and close tracking of current booking numbers, the association forecasts that 16 million consumers will cruise in 2011. Consumer interest is being driven by new ships in all segments of cruising, from ultra-luxury to new mega-ships to river cruising, as well as diversified global itineraries, innovative shipboard experiences and, most important, continued high value for money spent across all price categories.

“CLIA member cruise lines, ably assisted by their travel agent sales partners, are reaping the benefits of an improving economy, the impact of a new generation of ships and cruise experiences, and ongoing consumer confidence that cruising represents the very best value among all types of vacationing,” said Bob Sharak, CLIA’s executive vice president for marketing and distribution.

NYCEDC also announced today the results of the 2010 Economic Impact Study of cruise passenger and crew spending in New York City. The study, conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that cruise passengers and crew spent an estimated $144.6 million in New York City in 2010, far exceeding the $93.8 million spent in 2009. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders at $117.9 million, followed by crew spending at $21.5 million and transit passenger spending at $5.2 million. Passengers with pre- or post-cruise overnight stays had the highest average spending per passenger at $437 during a two-night stay. Another significant finding of the study showed that the majority of people cruising in New York came from outside the city, with only 21% of cruise passengers residing in the tri-state area.

“The cruise industry is an important contributor to New York City’s economy, and its recent growth is a strong indicator that it will remain an important source of economic activity in the future,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “We are attracting an increasing variety of cruise ships, as well as passengers from around the country, all of whom bring tens of millions of dollars in annual revenue to local businesses and support our economy.”

Following the press briefing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Tom Spina, Director of Cruise Operations at NYCEDC, Celeste Gladstone, Intercruises President and Captains Andrew McGovern and Hank Mahlmann of Sandy Hook Pilots presented Queen Elizabeth Captain Julian Burgess various commemorative items in a traditional maritime maiden call ceremony in the ship’s Commodore Club.

And in true grand celebration, at approximately 6:30 p.m. local time, the youngest fleet at sea – Cunard Line’s flagship Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and the new Queen Elizabeth will meet together in New York Harbor for a Cunard Royal Rendezvous as they depart the harbor. Queen Mary 2 will depart from her U.S. home port, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, while Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will depart from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal – Pier 90 and Pier 88, respectively. All three Queens will rendezvous at the Statue of Liberty for a spectacular Grucci fireworks celebration at approximately 6:45 p.m.

Following her maiden call to New York, Queen Elizabeth embarks on her Maiden World Voyage (103 days), flagship Queen Mary 2 begins her fifth World Voyage (103 days) and Queen Victoria begins her debut Americas Season, traversing between the east and west coasts through the Panama Canal.

For more information about Cunard’s three Queens or to book a voyage, consult your travel agent, call toll-free 1-800-7-CUNARD or go to http://www.cunard.com.

Cunard Line, operator of the luxury ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, has long been synonymous with the quest for new discoveries and the epitome of British refinement since the company's first paddle-wheeled steamer, Britannia, crossed the Atlantic in 1840. Cunard voyages bring together like-minded travellers who seek a civilised adventure and relish the Cunard hallmarks of impeccable White Star Service, gourmet dining and world-class entertainment. Today, Cunard offers the only regularly scheduled Transatlantic liner service and continues the legacy of world cruising which it began in 1922.

Cunard is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World’s Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at http://www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.

Follow Cunard online at: Blog: http://www.WeAreCunard.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cunard Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cunardline YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/wearecunard Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cunard Cunard photography is always available online at http://www.cunardimages.com Login ID: press Password: guyonda

NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com.

The nonprofit Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is North America's largest cruise industry organization. CLIA represents the interests of 25 member lines and participates in the regulatory and policy development process while supporting measures that foster a safe, secure and healthy cruise ship environment. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise vacations and counts as members 16,000 travel agencies. For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit http://www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association's Fan Page on Facebook.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

For more press inquiries, please contact Chris Heywood at 212.484.1270 or cheywood@nycgo.com.