Cruise Business Event links unique Portsmouth venues with cruise industry experts

Yesterday, Wednesday 9th November, The inaugural Portsmouth and Hampshire Cruise Business Event created by our Cruise Passenger Programme brought together over 30 venues and five cruise industry experts at The D-Day Story in Southsea to discuss the future of Portsmouth’s and the surrounding areas’ progression and development into the shore excursion and experience path.

This event was created with the support of Visit Portsmouth, Visit Hampshire, our partners and stakeholders within the team.

The event was an opportunity for our world-class venues and attractions to promote their offerings to people who know what the passengers want. It also gave the shore excursion organisations further opportunities to develop their partnership with Shaping Portsmouth and directly engage with each of the major venues and attractions as we move into the 2023 season.

We began the day with an insight into our Cruise Passenger Programme from Pat Sowerbutts, the co-lead for the Cruise Passenger Programme; we then heard from 4 of our cruise industry experts that gave an insight into the national and global cruise market.

We finished with round table ‘speed dating style’ discussions where our unique local venues got to ask any burning questions and form connections they might not have had with the cruise industry professionals.

The plan was that we get to a point where the offerings we have within the city are in as many of the cruise liner itineraries as possible, which in turn means more and more visiting passengers enjoying our world-class venues and hospitality inside our great waterfront city.

In contrast, historically, they have been transferred to other locations, such as London and Stonehenge. Directing tourism from the ships into Portsmouth will help our local economy and be more sustainable for the climate nationally.

Samantha McGrath, Shaping Portsmouth’s Director of Operations & Marketing, said, ”It had been a long time in the making, and we are very excited to have put on this highly successful event for the Cruise Passenger Programme. With dedicated partners such as Visit Portsmouth, the D-Day Story and Portsmouth International Port, we are committed to sharing and facilitating new direct partnerships and connections as we move into the 2023 Cruise season.”

Pat Sowerbutts, Co-Lead for the Cruise Passenger Programme and Partnerships & Development Manager for Hovertravel adds, “The event was a great opportunity for hotels & attractions from across Hampshire to learn more about the cruise industry, whether they are cruise ready and to actually meet the shore excursion operators in person. The event was a true testament to demonstrating how many industry-leading attractions & hotels there are in the county that cruise passengers arriving in Portsmouth can experience.”

We want to give a big thank you to Jane Singh at Visit Portsmouth, Andrew Bateman at Visit Hampshire, Ross Fairbrother at The D-Day Museum, James Williams at Excursions Ltd, Kay Greenway at Cruise Britain, Jacquie Baxter at Intercruises, Andrew Williamson and Charlotte Saunders from Portsmouth International Port and all of our team who made this event possible.

We would also like to extend our thanks to The Queens Hotel for providing overnight stay for the Shore-Ex visitors, and afternoon tea for all stakeholders.

Kate Pearce, Co-Lead for the Cruise Passenger Programme and Head of Communications & Connections at The Queens Hotel, Portsmouth, said: “As the hotel at the #heartofsouthsea we are passionate about flying the flag for the city and playing a key role in offering the best possible visitor experience.

“Businesses in the city have a major opportunity to share in the benefits of cruise passengers coming to Portsmouth as part of a transit call or to begin their voyage.

“We look forward to building closer ties with the cruise excursion companies as they build itineraries that fully showcase the amazing attractions and cultural life that the city and wider region has to offer.

“Let’s keep the cruise pound local.”

We look forward to inviting more venues and the four leading excursion companies back next year to further our standing in the cruise world!