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AZORES | Berta Cabral highlights importance of energy transition to boost Atlantic cruise base

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The Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructures, Berta Cabral, defended on Thursday the need and opportunity to create a cruise base/platform in the Atlantic, leveraging the process towards energy transition, technological evolution and optimisation of operations.

“We should move in this direction, especially as the Regional Port Authorities are already a member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and are in a position to promote and participate in such a project,” said Berta Cabral.

The government official spoke to journalists after an audience with the heads of CLIA in Europe, Nikos Mertzanidis, and in Portugal, Eduardo Cabrita.

With the existence of a cruise base in the Atlantic, covering the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, a new “cruise hub will be created, making the turning around here and creating added value for the economies of these archipelagos. As such, the Atlantic ports will no longer be merely ports of call but rather cruise destinations,” she stressed.

For the Regional Secretary, it is important to understand the importance and inevitability of the energy transition, knowing how to overcome the challenges that arise but also seizing the opportunities that lie ahead.

“The cruise sector is at the forefront of investment in carbon neutrality and technological innovation and, therefore, we believe that we can work together for new opportunities in the near future,” she explained. 

“In fact, this is a pioneering sector in testing and using innovative fuels, batteries and fuel cells, waste sorting systems, water treatment and energy optimisation. In the next horizons defined by the European Union, particularly in the 2030-2050 period, and even before that, there will be paradigm shifts that should not be ignored,” she said.

The government official mentioned that the huge success of tourism in the Azores, which has broken all records in all indicators, creating more employment, more opportunities for companies and investors, and generating more wealth for our economy, is also due to cruise tourism. The latter is “very important to mitigate seasonality in the Azores.”

According to the Regional Secretary, “the growth of cruise tourism in the Azores is part of a strategy carefully structured by the Regional Port Authorities, targeting smaller and more sustainable expedition and adventure tourism ships, using non-fossil energy while they are berthed in the ports.”

According to Berta Cabral, the smaller ships bring fewer passengers but one must take into account that “these passengers have a different profile and deliver greater value to local trade and the destination itself.”

GRA/RÁDIOILHÉU

Mauricio De Jesus
Maurício de Jesus é o Diretor de Programação da Rádio Ilhéu, sediada na Ilha de São Jorge. É também autor da rubrica 'Cronicas da Ilha e de Um Ilhéu' que é emitida em rádios locais, regionais e da diáspora desde 2015.