This article has been submitted by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
Swansea’s role within the tourism sector received a boost this week when leading cruise specialist, Cruise Nation, announced plans to develop a global TV studio within the city this summer. The studio will create online content to promote cruise holidays and Swansea as a key cruise destination.
Managing director Phil Evans said:
“I have had the dream of building a unique travel company from as far back as I can remember as a young boy and today we are now one of the most competitive cruise sales companies in the UK. With our Global HZ located in Ferry Boat Close, Swansea we only started off with four staff jut under 8 years ago and now we have over 50 full time workers and are looking to expand staff numbers. Our new state of the art TV studio and walk in retail centre for the public, we aim to have a global reach online but also on network television.”
Andrea Kendal, Commercial director said:
“This is very exciting news for Swansea and Wales a s whole. There will be new TV content produced every month and will help educate people on the advantages of cruise holidays. The new TV studio will be a game changer for us and we are very proud to be operating globally and located in Swansea, which we see is a potential growth area and will expand rapidly over the next five to ten years.”
Swansea Council has been working with the Welsh Government and other local authorities to consider ways of promoting Swansea as a cruise destination, given the rapid expansion of the industry.
Phil Roberts, Chief executive of Swansea Council say:
“We welcome the potential for this to raise the profile of the cruise industry generally and also the additional jobs that are being brought to the city by Cruise Nation.”
Cruise Nation work with over 13 different cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, P&O, Costa and Carnival.
Cruising is becoming one of the most popular types of holiday, catering for all age ranges. Although often regarded as being just for the elderly, cruises appeal to a much wider age range from families with children to disabled people. Nearly two thirds of consumers take more than one cruise a year. Taster cruises offering short cruises lasting just two or three nights are popular as a way of trialling this type of holiday.
Wales is becoming a destination to watch – within recent months Cruise & Maritime have announced plans to make Cardiff one of their home ports. While Visit Wales supported by the Welsh Government and Welsh Port authorities, local authorities and attractions have issued a Cruise Wales brochure highlighting cruise opportunities around the coast. The Welsh Government Tourism strategy aims to grow tourism in Wales by 10% by 2020 and the cruise market has been identified as a key part of that strategy.