The Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020

December 23, 2019


Published in General News

A major international cruise conference will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, from 19 to 21 February2020. This is the Cartagena dialogue on “Cruise, Ports and Cities” which will focus on the theme “Preparing Ports, Cities and Destinations for the next day of cruising: how best to accommodate the seemingly unstoppable growth of cruise activities”. 

The Industry program

Industry sessions (19-20 February 2020) will engage major cruise ports in the region, and associations representing ports, cruise destinations, cruise lines, and other stakeholders, in order to enhance the substance of discussions and develop concrete proposals for achieving the most desirable economic, environmental, and social sustainability of cruise activities development. 

Cruise ports, destinations, and tourism associations with a major role in the development of cruising all over the world will present their views during the ‘industry program’ that will take place the first two days of the event. 

These are the International Associations such the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH), representing ports all over the world and will present its World Port Sustainable Development program, AIVP-The World network of port-cities that will present their agenda for 2030, MedCruise, the biggest port association of the world, with its President Airam Díaz Pastor presenting the initiatives of ports in the Meditteranean and its adjoining seas, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The entire Colombian cruise industry will be present, with keynote speakers including Alfonso Salas Trujillo, CEO Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena, Jairo Aguilera, Procolombia, the President of the Cartagena Chamber of Commerce, Juan Pablo Velez Castellianos, and Yasmin Maldonado, President WISTA Colombia, and will be joined by participants from all over the world.

The industry program includes speakers from major European cruise ports, such as Mar del Mar Perez, Cruise Director of the major cruise port in Europe, Barcelona, Pino Musolino, President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority (Venice) , Sasha Rougier, CEO Cruise Gate Hamburg and Chair of the Cruise Committee, IAPH, Fernando Muñoz, Marketing Director Port Authority of Cartagena, Spain. Representatives of ports from South America (Lima, Peru, Buenos Aires etc..), destinations and various other stakeholders will also take the floor in building a more sustainable future for cruise growth.

Keynote speakers from the Americas, including Collin Murphy, Head of Business Development, America, of Global Ports Holding, which is the biggest cruise terminal operator of the world, and Chris Chase, Marketing Manager, Port of Los Angeles, USA, Virginia Lopez, CEO of CruiseNews, Spain, will add to the global nature of the event. 

The program includes sessions examining “The benefits and challenges of cruise growth”, “The role of Associations in balancing cruise growth with economic & social sustainability”, “Cruise agendas for the future”,“Cruise Port Growth Strategies”, “Positive stories of port cities & cruise destinations and how to expand them”, “Main challenges for cruise industry in the Caribbean”, and“Corporate Social Responsibility and gender issues in cruise”.

Two special workshops will focus on “Creating an effective dialogue among cruise lines, ports & cities” and “Calculating emissions in terminals” respectively.

Academic Program

The academic program (21 February 2020) will bring together scholars from all over the world, to discuss the latest research on how best to achieve sustainable cruise growth.

The academic program includes over 50 contributions by scholars from 17 different countries, including Colombia, Belgium, Chile, China, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, UK and US.

The twelve (12) academic sessions include three special ones, focusing on «Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability in the cruise industry”, “ cruise marketing tools” and “Cruising readiness, and resilience” respectively.


The event is organised by the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia, along with the University of the Aegean, Greece and University of Genoa, Italy, in collaboration with IAPH. 

Sponsors and supporters include Cruise Port of Cartagena Colombia, Global Ports Holding, Port of Cartegena Spain, MedCruise – The Association of cruise ports in the Med and its adjoining seas, Expocafe, and ProColombia.

The event is under the auspices of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN), and the scientific coordination of the PortEconomics web-initiative.

How to attend

To register and join the discussions, you might visit

Avianca, the official airline of the Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020, offers special rates to all participants travelling to Colombia and Cartagena for attending the event.

Why this Conference?

An uninterrupted growth of cruise activities has been recorded for every single year, for more than three decades, and is in the course of continuation. This phenomenon has been supported by an unstoppable globalisation trend of both the supply (offer of cruises) and the demand (internationalisation of passenger source markets) sides of cruising, with the Caribbean and North America continuing to stand as the major cruise region of all.

The effects of this trend have in recent times started to be questionable: the ability of all stakeholders and the scholarly community to address the environmental and social questions of today is increasingly seen as the condition for securing the sustainable development of the cruise industry. 

The adjustment of cruise ports and cities to serve this growth, as well as the desires of port-cities and linked tourist destinations to enjoy the benefits produced, is important. As is the preparation of ports as well as of cities and destinations to accommodate cruise activities while securing the economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability of their growth. Once defined, specific business cruise strategies might work in support of making this growth sustainable.

 “This is a unique blending of industry and academia. Senior and well experienced stakeholders will join the best scholars from all over the world to discuss and detail how best to prepare ports, cities and tourist destinations to host future cruise growth. This is social responsibility in practice.” says Prof. Thanos Pallis, one of the two scientific coordinators of the Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020. 

When cruise growth is associated with operational, financial, coordination and social challenges, we have an obligation to work together in shaping a sustainable cruise growth. We are pleased that Cartagena and South America will host a global event that will advance this goal” adds Prof. Gordon Wilmsmeier, who also co-ordinates the event.

Follow Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020

You can follow the latest on the Cartagena Crusie Dialogue 2020, voa the social media-accoutns devoted to it: Twitter: @CruiseDialogue; Linkedin: Cruisediaogue2020; and the website:


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