A global cruise industry body today launched its ‘Cruise Forward’ website to showcase its commitment to supporting economic development, community partnership and environmental stewardship around the world.

Cruise Lines International Association (Clia) said the website, cruiseforward.org, will serve as a global platform for representatives from the cruise industry to engage industry stakeholders, including customers, employees, business partners and policymakers, in order to foster discussion about the benefits cruising brings to individuals and society.

Christine Duffy, president and chief executive of Clia, said: “Those closest to our industry know how our economic impact extends far beyond port communities, they see the value of cultural exchange and the volunteerism that happens every day from passengers, crew and employees, our support of community and environmental programs, and they know the ongoing commitment of our industry to safety.

“We must do more to share these stories and ‘Cruise Forward’ will help us do just that and also increase public awareness regarding the industry’s extensive commitment to supporting community partnerships, safeguarding the environment and delivering wide-ranging economic benefits worldwide.”

Among the benefits Clia wants to showcase is the £64 billion in economic impact and more than 753,000 jobs generated worldwide by the cruise industry in 2011.

The association also wants to highlight how cruise lines are “actively working to reduce the overall environmental impact of cruising and preserve and protect our pristine oceans, beaches and ports”.