COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – A giant step forward for the development of cruise tourism in Sri Lanka to be a 100,000 visitor arrivals source Sri Lanka tourism promotions bureau has invited Mr. John Tercek, Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd to visit Sri Lanka and address the business community of the 4 billion dollar industry said chairman Sri Lanka tourism Promotions bureau Dr Rohantha Athukorala.
Cruise Tourism has seen a substantial growth in Sri Lanka with numbers going from 18 cruise line visits in 2011, 22 liners in 2014 and currently at 40 visits from liners. The Asian Cruise Trends Report for 2014 by CLIA goes on to state that Asia is growing in both capacity deployed and as a passenger source market. Already 52 ships are being deployed in Asia in 2015 with over 1000 cruises and voyages being scheduled; Sri Lanka with its excellent geo strategic location, and being a maritime hub, must leverage on this surge. The proposed cruise terminal building, pending cabinet approval, initiated by the Ministry of Ports is exactly the kind of infrastructure support that is required to fast track and catapult cruise tourism promotion, which would provide much greater economic benefits and a high return on investment.
In this global backdrop SLAITO together with Sri Lanka tourism has finalized marketing plans for cruise tourism and the strategies set out by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, the acceptance of Mr. John Tercek,’s invitation to be a keynote speaker for the Cruise Tourism industry at the Colombo International Maritime Conference (CIMC) conference to be held in Colombo 24 – 26 September 2015, is an achievement of its own to the development of Cruise Tourism in Sri Lanka. “We are honoured and humbled by his acceptance of our invitation”, said Dr. Rohantha Athukorala. He went onto further comment that “our invitation to Mr. Tercek is also extended to spend a few days with us here in Sri Lanka, apart from the programme, so he may experience first-hand what Sri Lanka has to offer”.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited (RCI) is one of top cruise lines in the business ranked at no. 3 by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for cruises and voyages offered in Asia for 2015, with a 20% market share for sailings and an average length of 5.2 cruise nights. Mr. John Tercek holds the position of Vice President for Commercial and New business development in this prestigious organization. His career dates back from 1999 at RCI where his contributions were to create shore side infrastructure projects and ventures to support strategic growth objectives, including the development of port and commercial facilities. John Tercek was a partner in a Wall Street real estate investment firm in the 1980s before becoming a principal in several property development firms in the 1990s. His professional career includes financing and developing over US$1.5 billion of retail, residential and commercial properties, co-generation power projects and port infrastructure projects in America, Europe and the Caribbean. Dr. Athukorala further commented “we appreciate and commend the motivation and the momentum set by SLAITO and individuals such as Mr. Bernie Dole, who heads the subcommittee for Cruise Tourism, to get the ship going into oceans we are yet to see and discover”. SLTPB participated at the Sea Trade Cruise Asia held in Busan, South Korea in June 2015 as a first step towards setting the trend for promotion of the industry.
The Colombo International Maritime Conference will be held in Colombo 24 – 26 September 2015.