Merger Gives Cruise Industry a Unified Voice

Nine international associations have agreed to merge into one umbrella organization to serve as the global advocacy leader for the cruise industry.

Cruise lines now have a one-stop shop for global resources, communication, and advocacy, thanks to the merger of nine industry groups, announced earlier this week. The members—Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), European Cruise Council, Asia Cruise Association, Passenger Shipping Association, France’s AFCC, Brazil’s ABREMAR, Northwest and Canada Cruise Association, Alaska Cruise Association, and International Cruise Council Australasia—agreed to use the name Cruise Lines International Association and its existing office space.

Mergers are not uncommon in the association space, but this one is noteworthy for its size and global scale. It is also timely, as the industry is facing questions surrounding the grounding of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy last January, which killed more than 30 passengers.

“This evolution addresses the need to speak and act globally with a unified voice while recognizing the importance of local relationships,” Howard Frank, chairman of the Global Executive Committee that will govern CLIA, said in the statement. “The new association will play a vital role in proactively shaping the policy and regulatory environments on a global level and promoting cruising with various constituencies through more effective coordination, communication, and stakeholder engagement.”

The merger provides several short- and long-term benefits to the industry, said Christine Duffy, CLIA president and CEO. “It enables us to better leverage our members’ and partners’ investment in association membership while strengthening the industry’s leadership globally,” Duffy said. “It also allows us to consolidate industry research and to leverage promotional events and marketing communication.”

CLIA’s focus will be on global strategy and international industry issues. Member organizations will concentrate on local and regional efforts.

Are you seeing the merger trend in your industry? Is it a good thing for your members? Let us know about it in the comments.


Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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