Norwegian-Breakaway-plus-cruise-shipNine separate cruise industry associations on Monday confirmed that they have agreed to join forces and unite as a single organization advocating for the greater good of the international cruising industry.

The new association will know be known collectively as the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which prior to today’s announcement was North America’s largest global cruise industry organization representing the 26 member lines, 15,000 travel agents, and 120 executive partners. The associations that have agreed to the merger are European Cruise Council (ECC), Asia Cruise Association (ACA), Passenger Shipping Association (PSA/ACE), France’s AFCC, Brazil’s ABREMAR, Northwest and Canada Cruise Association (NWCCA), Alaska Cruise Association (ACA), and International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA).

The move comes almost one year after the tragic Costa Concordia disaster in Italy, which prompted CLIA to conduct its own safety review, known as the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, and has resulted in the industry’s adoption of a number of new safety policies exceeding international regulations.

CLIA says that the new association was created to provide increased benefits and a globally unified voice for cruise lines, travel agents and business partners – all of whom contribute to an industry that creates nearly $100 billion in economic impact and more than 753,000 jobs worldwide. For cruise lines, CLIA says that the new association offers a one-stop global resource on technical and regulatory issues and unified global communication and event coordination, all of which better leverage cruise lines’ investment in association membership. For travel agents, the new association offers more robust partnership programs and networking on a broader scale. For executive partners, it provides greater opportunities for customer and business partner development.

CLIA will be governed by a Global Executive Committee, chaired by Howard Frank, Vice Chairman, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Committee of Carnival Corporation & plc.

“We are now truly one industry with one voice,” said Howard Frank. “Given the tremendous growth and continuing globalization of the cruise industry, this evolution addresses the need to speak and act globally with a unified voice while recognizing the importance of local relationships. The new association will play a vital role in proactively shaping the policy and regulatory environments on a global level and promoting cruising with various constituencies through more effective coordination, communication and stakeholder engagement.”

Christine Duffy, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association, will serve as the President and CEO of the new association, leading a team with responsibilities for international technical and regulatory issues, research, communications, industry relations and public affairs.

“There are immediate and longer term benefits from the new association that are extensive and wide ranging,” said Christine Duffy. “It enables us to better leverage our members’ and partners’ investment in association membership while strengthening the industry’s leadership globally on issues such as safety, security, the environment, sustainability and health. It also allows us to consolidate industry research and to leverage promotional events and marketing communication to facilitate greater consumer interest in cruising.”

The new CLIA global organization will represent the cruise industry at the International Maritime Organization based in London, the International Labour Organization in Geneva and will focus on global strategy, international industry issues and strategic communications.

CLIA says that all the association members agreed to utilize the name Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) with the appropriate geographic designation, and the existing association offices remaining in place. Local and regional matters will continue to be managed by the regional national associations in North America, Europe, and Australasia.

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