Edwina Lonsdale on port closures. Credit: Edwina Lonsdale

Our columnist, Edwina Lonsdale, on why cruise ports should be open for business

Author: Edwina Lonsdale

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Banning cruise ships from ports won't solve overtourism says Mundy Cruising's managing director

Historic port closes doors to cruise ships’ is a headline we often read. But there has been some lazy reporting of this issue, so what is really going on?

Sustainable tourism is something the cruise industry takes very seriously, and over the summer an agreement was signed between the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, focusing on ports and the cruise supply chain.

While it’s easy for a port to hit the news with a blanket ban, the fact is that local businesses rely heavily on the tourist dollar, and a single cruise call can bring extensive benefits, not just to the port itself but to suppliers further inland.

The purpose of the new accord is to ensure that cruise companies continue to invest, but with a full understanding of the specific economic and social needs of each region – perhaps by developing resources outside city centres, and always with environmental concerns front and centre.

Wielded effectively, tourism can be a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation, and it is a source of pride that the cruise industry is something of a trailblazer in this area.

Amsterdam closed its port to cruise ships in July 2023. Credit: Shutterstock
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