The one where CLIA Cruises Forward…

CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy and ICCA chairman Gavin Smith at the 2012 Cruise Industry Awards. Image: Natalie Aroyan

CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy and ICCA chairman Gavin Smith at the 2012 Cruise Industry Awards. Image: Natalie Aroyan

A new industry-wide communications initiative has been launched by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to promote awareness surrounding the philanthropic and environmental efforts made by cruise lines and crew globally.

Dubbed ‘Cruise Forward’, the initiative will feature a website and Facebook page aiming to showcase the economic benefits, cultural exchange and environmental efforts cruise lines make along with the safe and healthy onboard experience.

In 2011, the cruise industry generated an economic impact of USD$100 billion communities worldwide and supported organisations and charities in ports through the protection of cultural heritage, passenger and crew voluntourism opportunities and financial support.

‘Cruise Forward’ will also promote the efforts made by the cruise lines who actively aim to reduce the overall impact of cruising and preserve the ocean and ports visited.

In addition to ‘Cruise Forward’, CLIA have announced the development of their ‘Cruise Industry TV’ channel on You Tube that will highlight the passenger experience and destinations visited by the more than 20 million passengers cruising worldwide each year.

“It also provides a wealth of information on our industry’s operational practices in important areas such as safety, security, health and the environment,” CLIA president and CEO Christine Duffy said.

Catering for both trade and consumers, the site will feature the latest cruise trends and innovations along with a ‘Travel Agent Playlist’ that will offer information from CLIA’s travel agent training and certification programs.

Originally written by Natalie Aroyan for e-Travel Blackboard.

I think this is a great initiative by CLIA to draw more attention to the wonderful efforts cruise lines and their crew make philanthropically and for the environment.

The opportunities for passengers to get involved in these efforts when cruising has expanded exponentially in the past year, especially with lines including Crystal Cruises offering complimentary voluntourism excursions around the world that allow guests to not only assist local communities but experience once in a lifetime opportunities.

Onboard fundraising such as Holland America Line’s ‘On Deck for a Cause’ and Carnival’s ‘Cruise for St Jude’ have become increasingly popular as well, with passengers encouraged to buy a t-shirt and wristband and walk the decks to raise funds for charities near and dear to the cruise lines’ hearts.

I have to confess though. that I am one of those people who tends to buy the t-shirt, wear it and lie by the pool with a book – but the sentiment is there!

So cudos to CLIA for spreading the word and if you’d like to stay connected with initiative, click here to access their Facebook page.

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