On the July 1st 2021, as part of the activities of the Italy-IORA Committee, aimed at promoting cooperation between Italy and the IORA, and with the participation of private companies and civil society, Minister Mario Andrea Vattani, IORA National Focal Point for Italy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, organized – together with Federazione del Mare, Costa Crociere and the Diplomacy Festival – a visit to the ROME CRUISE TERMINAL in Civitavecchia for a delegation of Ambassadors and representatives of IORA member States: Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Madagascar, Mozambico, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

Participating Ambassadors were Ahsan Shameem, Ambassador of Bangladesh,  Esti Andayani, Ambassador of Indonesia, Hamid Bayat, Ambassador of Iran, Jackline Yonga, Ambassador of Kenya, Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino, Ambassador of Malaysia, César Francisco De Gauveia, Ambassador of Mozambique, Nosipho Ngcaba, Ambassador of South Africa. Belinda Waldron, Australian Consul in Rome, was also present.

The meeting was introduced by Minister Mario Andrea Vattani, and was conceived as a concrete follow-up to the Webinar on Sustainable Cruise Tourism held in October 2020. The strong interest of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and its member States was confirmed by participating Ambassadors, considering the opportunities offered by collaboration with the major players of the Italian cruise sector, aiming at the development of a sustainable cruise tourism in the Indian Ocean Region, and its beneficial influence on the socio-economic situation of coastal communities which suffered from the pandemic.

The meeting continued with greetings by Ernesto Tedesco, Mayor of Civitavecchia, Valentina Corrado, Lazio Region Councilor for Tourism, Francesco Tomas, Commander of the Port of Civitavecchia, and Mario Zanetti, Director General of Costa Crociere.

Successively, the ambassadors visited the Cruise Terminal, guided by the RCT General Manager John Portelli, in order to gain knowledge of the most recent anti-COVID security protocols applied in our country. The Ambassadors were then invited to board the Mn Costa Smeralda for a visit of the ship and a special briefing on the effective health safety measures on board.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Laurence Martin, Secretary General of Federazione del Mare and Secretary General of the Italy-IORA Committee, Giorgio Bartolomucci, Secretary General of the Diplomacy Festival.

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