Port of Barcelona Sets Sail Towards Sustainable Cruising with Cruise Sustainability Council
The Port of Barcelona has launched the Cruise Sustainability Council, a collaborative initiative to enhance the environmental and social impact of cruise tourism in the Catalan capital.
The Port of Barcelona has taken a significant step towards sustainable cruise tourism by establishing the Cruise Sustainability Council. This collaborative forum brings together various local administrations, entities, and industry stakeholders to manage and improve the impact of cruise activities in the Catalan capital.
The council comprises Barcelona City Council, the Catalan Government, the Provincial Council of Barcelona, the Delegation of the Central Government in Catalonia, Port Community, Air Routes Development Committee (CDRA), economic and social entities, and CLIA. Together, they aim to achieve five key objectives.
Firstly, the council seeks to enhance transparency and communication surrounding cruise activity in the Port of Barcelona. By providing clear information, stakeholders can make informed decisions and better understand the industry's impact on the city.
Secondly, the council aims to create a space for sharing and coordinating initiatives launched by different institutions. This collaborative approach encourages synergy among stakeholders and enables them to work towards common sustainability goals.
Thirdly, efforts will be made to reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of cruises. This includes implementing measures to minimize emissions, conserve resources, and preserve the natural environment. Socially, the focus will be on managing cruise passengers, reducing congestion in tourist areas, and creating local jobs in the sector.
Moreover, the council seeks to increase the social and economic benefits generated by the cruise sector for the city and its hinterland. By fostering stronger connections between cruise companies and local businesses, training institutions, and employment sectors, the council aims to maximize the positive impact of cruise tourism.
This initiative builds upon the agreement signed between the Port and Barcelona City Council in 2018, which outlined the reduction of cruise terminals to seven by 2027. As part of this agreement, the cruise terminal located on Barcelona Sud wharf will be closed. An investment of €265 million in public and private funds will support the development of new infrastructure along Adossat wharf.
The Cruise Sustainability Council will establish various work committees focused on environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Already, the founding document of the council outlines 50 actions that are currently underway or will commence shortly, aligned with these three areas.
In terms of social sustainability, efforts will be made to manage cruise passenger flow, promote homeporting activities, and alleviate congestion in tourist hotspots. Diversifying tourist assets and creating local jobs within the sector are also key objectives.
Environmental sustainability actions will target the reduction of emissions from cruise ships, the promotion of low-emission vessels, and the transition to cleaner energy sources within the Port. Water management optimization, waste transformation into biogas, improved urban mobility, and biodiversity preservation will also be prioritized.
Homeporting activities, which bring significant economic benefits to the city, will be further developed and expanded. Additionally, through collaboration and concerted efforts, the council aims to achieve tangible improvements in environmental impact, social benefits, and economic returns for the city and its residents.