By Marilyn Zink
Cruise industry operators are invited to a free speakers session Oct. 29 to explore opportunities and strategies.
Experts in the cruise industry for the Pacific Northwest, B.C> and the Central Island will gather in Nanaimo to present information to Central Island communities and stakeholders in conjunction with the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, (VIEA) Conference.
Cruise industry operators will learn about the current status of the Central Island Cruise Program as well as ways to benefit the community and businesses in 206 and beyond. The island cruise program has an annual potential for $7.5 million.
“The reason for this forum is to update people in the industry on the island,” says David Mailloux, Manager for Connections and Public Affairs for Nanaimo Port Authority.
“We have to showcase how we’re developing that’s important to the cruise ship industry.”
He says a provincial representative from Destination B.C. will be there as “they invest a lot of money for cruises in B.C.”
The speakers session, presented by Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay and Port Authority president and CEO Bernie Dumas, features in the cruise, tourism and related industries.
These include; Donna Spalding of Cruise Line International Association-North West & Canada, Richard Lewis-Director, Sector & Tourism Product Management, Destination BC, Bernie Dumas, Lesley Anderson – Executive Director Tourism Nanaimo, Neil Malbon, GM-McLean Mill National Historic Site & Alberni Pacific Railway and Jane McIvor – BC Shipping News & McIvor Communications Inc.
Mailloux says three cruise ships have come to Nanaimo this year with eight scheduled for next year.
“It’s trending in the direction we want . We have a couple extra calls for next year. We’re working on 2017 and beyond.”
The event runs from 2:30-4:30 p.m. and is free to attend. Conference and non-conference delegates from the Economic Summit that is held the same weekend are welcome.