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28 SPECIAL FEATURE CRUISES The Cruise Capital Where Tourists First Learn to Love Cruises River Cruises Break New Ground From the Volga to Vietnam, Crucemundo River Cruises explore new waterways this season With its business built on river cruises in Europe and Russia, Spanish cruise operator Crucemundo is expanding into South East Asia for the 2016 season. Two brand new luxury river ships provide an innovative way to explore this vibrant and unspoilt region, along two new routes. The Mekong River Cruise is an expedition between Cambodia and Vietnam on one of the world’s fabled waterways: from the majestic Angkor Wat temples through small rural villages to the Vietnamese capital, the Pearl of South East Asia - Ho Chi Minh City. The Irrawaddy River Cruise, meanwhile, provides a voyage along the verdant “Road To Mandalay” between the historic cities of Yangon and Pyay - taking in spectacular ancient Buddhist temples en route through Myanmar, the former British colony of Burma. Both of these new routes represent an evolution in tourism to the region as it opens its doors to the West. Never far from the riverbanks, a river cruise with its scheduled stopovers is an ideal way to sample indigenous tribes, beautiful scenery and countries seemingly frozen in time. It is this close contact with the countryside that has led to the rise in popularity of river cruising. Crucemendo’s portfolio of cruises in Europe along the Rhine and the Danube, with wine tasting and cultural richness at every stop, and their classic Volga adventure between Moscow and St Petersburg on Russia’s “Golden Ring” have established the company as a choice for tourists looking for new ways to explore. The ship has to be a destination in itself, and each of these river cruises has its own bespoke vessel suited to its destined waterway: from the 5-star MS Rostropovich, one of the most luxurious ships ever to cruise through Russia, to the brand new Mekong Navigator, designed to mimic the architecture of the French colonial homes of Old Saigon. Sophisticated floating accommodation providing access to innovative destinations - this is the river cruise model with which Crucemundo is breaking new ground in 2016. Hall 25 / Stand 123 96% of Miami visitors come via Miami International Airport, the only airport in USA served by more than 100 airlines. And that makes accessibility one of Miami’s strongest points. And yet you can’t talk about Miami without talking about Port Miami and its cruise ship harbour. “I often talk about the airport,” says William D. Talbert III, CDME, President and CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, “But I also want to put in a plug for Miami as ‘the cruise capital of the world’. We own that phrase. We always were and we always will be the cruise capital of the world’. We’re very bullish on Port Miami and our partnership there.” If almost all the visitors come via airplane, why is Port Miami so important? Many visitors to Miami either come specially to jump on cruise ships or decide (while in Miami) to take some of the short cruises as breaks. For many tourists, a 3-day cruise to Nassau in the Bahamas is their first taste of a cruise vacation and convinces them to come back for longer trips. Norwegian escape The new 164,600-ton, 4248 passenger Norwegian Escape sailed into Miami in late 2015 and is home-ported in Miami year-round. The ship cruises to eastern and western Caribbean, sporting signature artwork on the hull designed by renowned artist and ocean conservationist Guy Harvey. PortMiami is the year-round home port for Carnival Cruise Line’s largest and most innovative ship to date, the 133,500-ton Carnival Vista, sailing six to eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning December 2016. Its inaugural Mediterranean itineraries will mark Carnival’s return to Europe. The first of MSC Cruises’ next generation “Seaside” class, the MSC Seaside will be sailing year-round beginning December 2017. Sir Richard Branson ‘s Virgin Cruises has also selected PortMiami as its home port-- its first cruise ship which will set sail in 2020. Hall 2.1 / Stand 480 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

SHOPPING TOURISM SPECIAL FEATURE 29 Selling More Than Just a Destination Shopping tourism, key for destination marketing “One of the most used tools in the promotion of destinations” this is how Shopping Tourism was described by the World Tourism Organization. Shopping Tourism “is a highly relevant component for travellers when choosing and preparing their trip” underlined Yolanda Perdomo, Director of the Affiliate Members Programme at UNWTO. Jörn Gieschen, Researcher at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) and the MasterCard Observatory on Premium Markets and Prestige Products states that “shopping tourism is intimately related to city travel which constitutes 58% of the total”. “There is an additional concept about shopping tourism: that of small and local shopping experiences which according to our research is much more attractive for travellers than the big global brands” he added. One of the trends shared was the so-called ‘Bleisure’ - the combination of Business and Leisure. “58% of business travellers add a day or even a weekend to their business trip,” he said. Eva Ruiz Cendon, Director of Marketing at Mastercard indicates that “despite the fact that 80% of payments worldwide are done in cash, electronic and mobile payments offer excellent opportunities for businesses.” The company’s “Priceless Cities” programme, engages cities such as Madrid and New York, facilitating leisure activities in relevant destinations in cooperation with brands and shops. Meanwhile, Michel Durrieu, Director of Tourism at the Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Development in France, has introduced the issue of sustainability linked to shopping tourism, mentioning a recent innovation: the digital certificate. Speaking about the most visited city in the world, Paris, Durrieu says that shopping and gastronomy are major criteria to decide on destinations, and therefore should be included in any strategy. Diversity, price and quality, opening hours, customer orientation © iStock - Rawpixel Ltd in shops, handicrafts and souvenirs quality were mentioned by the Director of Tourism in France, as key aspects to advance in shopping tourism. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 10 th March 2016

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