Dublin Port wants a bigger slice of the cruise ship market
A new marketing and development agency is to put Dublin Port on the leisure map by boosting the number of high-spending cruise ship passengers visiting the city.
The Dublin Port Company wants to establish the capital as the main port of choice for cruises coming to Ireland.
The firm, which reported freight levels in excess of the boom era last year, has launched Cruise Dublin to work with industry to develop offerings for cruise customers.
Dublin Port says cruise tourism in Dublin is growing at a rate of 20pc annually.
"We want to promote Dublin as a premium cruise destination directly to cruise companies and work with businesses in Dublin to tailor packages to the needs of the cruise lines and their passengers," said Pat Ward, head of corporate services at Dublin Port Company.
Representatives of Cruise Dublin are in Florida today attending the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference where they will market the port to cruise lines, suppliers and travel agents.
Dublin Port Company chief executive Eamonn O'Reilly said a lack of five-star hotels in the city will remain a big challenge in promoting the port.
"We have a window of opportunity to make a difference now, but this can only be achieved if we all work together - the businesses, the agencies and the port," he said.