Speaker Line Up Announced and Registrations Open for Australian Cruise Association Annual Conference
A strong speaker line-up has been confirmed for the 23rd annual Australian Cruise Association Conference (ACA) and AGM being held from September 4-6 in picturesque Geelong, Victoria located less than an hour from Melbourne.
In recognition of the important role regional destinations play in the continued growth of Australia’s cruise industry, this will be the third year (2018 in Broome and 2017 in Mooloolaba) that ACA has held their event outside a major metropolitan centre.
Taking this one step further in 2019, several keynote speakers have been selected to reflect the increasing interest by cruise passengers in travelling on smaller vessels which are best suited to these destinations.
Melissa Witsoe, Product Manager for Windstar Cruises in Seattle will discuss the importance of finding a destination’s hidden treasures and weaving them into itineraries to provide fascinating immersive experiences for their passengers. Windstar is one of the new cruise lines which will soon sail in Australia.
Adam Armstrong, Managing Director of Silversea Cruises in Australia and New Zealand will attend as a first-time speaker to the Conference. This region is the cruise line’s third largest market with Silversea’s new flagship, Silver Muse debuting here earlier this year. The company has plans to launch five new luxury vessels by 2023.
Other confirmed keynote speakers are Captain Nikolaos Antalis, Association Vice President Marine and Safety for Royal Caribbean International (APAC) who is responsible for working with ports to develop appropriate infrastructure and evaluating them to determine the feasibility for potential calls; and Ass. Prof. Anne Hardy from the University of Tasmania who will speak on their groundbreaking Tourism Tracer research and visitor patterns.
With a focus on the value proposition, other wide-ranging conference sessions will look at cruise’s impact on the hotel sector, coach operators and attractions and the importance of destination development.
Victoria will welcome more than 100 cruise ships this season with regional ports such as Geelong, Philip Island and Portland playing a key role. “As Victoria’s second most popular destination for cruise ships, we welcome this opportunity to further showcase our destination offerings including our beautiful waterfront, our vibrant CBD and our iconic food and wine destination along the Bellarine” said City of Greater Geelong Mayor, Bruce Harwood.
The Conference will commence on Wednesday, 4 September with a range of networking tours planned to showcase the destination. These will include opportunities to experience the wonderful history, indigenous culture and culinary experiences – also on offer to cruise passengers.
Jill Abel, CEO of Australian Cruise Association said: “We look forward to working with the wonderful team at Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine to highlight to our conference attendees all that is on offer in this wonderful region and continue to stimulate port visits as a result.”
It is anticipated that around 120 people will attend the Conference which will run through until 6 September 2019 concluding with a motivational breakfast supporting a local charity, a highlight on the program each year.
The conference and AGM will be held at the Novotel Geelong, situated on the city’s stunning waterfront, and the Geelong Football Stadium – home to the Geelong Cats.
ACA is working closely with Visit Victoria, Tourism Greater Geelong and the Bellarine, Business Events Geelong and the Coty of Greater Geelong to bring the Conference together.
Earlybird registrations are now open through until July 31 at https://www.australiancruiseassociation.com/conferences