Seven local companies are being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop outfitting and other business with the world’s top cruise operators.
The companies will be bidding for new contracts at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami from 15-20 March. Five of the participating companies - Mivan, Antrim; MJM Marine, Rathfriland; Madden Brothers, Ballymena; RFD-Beaufort, Dunmurry; and Ulster Carpets, Craigavon - are established suppliers to the cruise/ferry industry.
Alan Hingston, Invest NI’s Trade Director, commenting on the convention, said: “Seatrade is an essential event for companies focused on the supply of products and services including outfitting to this important sector of the travel industry. It attracts procurement teams, for example, from all international cruise operators.
“We have a cluster of companies that have achieved considerable success in the cruise and ferry industry with many of the world’s leading operators. Most of the major cruise companies will be attending the event and many will be in a position to place orders for products and expert services. Last year around 40 per cent of trade visitors placed orders for equipment and expert services. Some 26 per cent ordered food and beverages.
“Research shows that the event is seen by visitors as the most efficient way for buyers and sellers to meet. It offers a variety of networking opportunities to meet all the leading industry players in one place. Participation was also seen as the best return on investment,” he added.
Around 1,000 exhibitors from 117 countries and regions including shipyards, tourism bodies and major ports will be taking part in the event. Among 4,000 trade visitors will be more than 1,900 executives from 70 international cruise lines.
The event features a conference programme and a super yacht exhibition within the main convention.