by Matt Alderton | January 07, 2013
Citing their desire to better serve the global cruise industry, nine cruise industry associations have agreed to operate as a single organization with a unified structure, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reported recently.

The organizations — CLIA, along with the European Cruise Council (ECC), the Asia Cruise Association (ACA), the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA/ACE), France's AFCC, Brazil's ABREMAR, the Northwest and Canada Cruise Association (NWCCA), the Alaska Cruise Association (ACA), and International Cruise Council Australasia (ICCA) — will operate under the CLIA name, each with the appropriate geographic designation. Although their respective offices will remain in place, the organizations will now be collectively governed by a global executive committee and by CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy.

"There are immediate and longer-term benefits from the new association that are extensive and wide ranging," Duffy said. "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."

According to CLIA, the new association will create a "globally unified voice for cruise lines, travel agents and business partners," specializing in unified communications, event coordination, advocacy and networking. The global organization will represent the industry to international maritime organizations, while subsidiary organizations will continue to manage local and regional matters.

"We are now truly one industry with one voice," said Howard Frank, chairman of CLIA's new executive committee and vice chairman, chief operating officer and executive committee member of Carnival Corp. "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."