Oct 24, 2013

CLIA Spain is 13th Cruise Industry Association Worldwide Operating Under CLIA Umbrella

— October 24, 2013 —
MADRIDCLIA Europe’s Chairman, Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, today announced the establishment of CLIA Spain at the International Cruise Summit 2013 in Madrid. The new national association will be headquartered in Madrid and will be chaired by Belen Wangüemert, the General Manager in Spain and France for Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.  The association will be managed by Alfredo Serrano, CLIA Spain’s new National Director. This follows CLIA’s expansion of resources in Europe this year and CLIA Spain joins CLIA Germany, CLIA UK & Ireland, CLIA France, CLIA Netherlands, and CLIA Belgium & Luxembourg as the thirteenth association operating under CLIA’s newly established global structure.

“I am very pleased to announce the establishment of CLIA Spain as the newest member of the CLIA family,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Chairman of CLIA Europe, in his keynote speech at the International Cruise Summit. “With the establishment of a Spanish national association, the industry can better support its members locally and ensure they benefit from CLIA’s global programs in the fourth largest cruise market in Europe. Last year 576,000 Spaniards booked a cruise holiday, and 1.2 million passengers embarked on a cruise ship from a Spanish port. We affirm our support and commitment to a country that has been, is, and no doubt, will continue to be of vital importance to our future.”

Christine Duffy, President & CEO of CLIA, said:

“Spain is one of the most popular destinations for cruise passengers and it is an important, growing source market for the industry. We are firmly committed to Spain and look forward to continued market growth there and throughout Europe.” 

Robert Ashdown, Secretary General of CLIA Europe explained the decision to expand CLIA’s network to Spain by reaffirming the industry’s commitment to the Spanish market:

“With CLIA’s expansion to the Spanish market, our network in Europe is now more consolidated than ever before. While the last few years have been challenging for Europe’s cruising industry, we have consistently achieved record growth. CLIA Europe’s integrated network will allow us to further unify the industry under one voice in order to continue addressing common challenges together and positioning the industry for future successes.”

CLIA Spain’s Leadership Council will be led by Wangüemert; Emiliano Gonzalez, General Manager of MSC Cruises in Spain, as Vice Chairman; and Alfredo Serrano, as National Director. As part of CLIA’s unified structure, along with Spanish cruise lines, all relevant European regional and global association members will have membership on CLIA Spain’s Leadership Council. The CLIA Europe Secretary General will also take part.

Notes for Editors:

About the officers and staff


  • Belén Wangüemert, who will serve as CLIA Spain Chairman, is the General Manager for Spain and France at Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, accounts for more than 20 years of experience in the cruise business. Before joining Royal Caribbean at the end of 2005, she worked in the tour operator Latitud4, specialised in representing different cruise brands in Spain like Cunard Line, Silversea, MSC and Royal Caribbean among others. After heading the Marketing Department she had been promoted to Deputy Manager when she was appointed by Royal Caribbean to set up their own corporate office in Spain. After six years of designing and executing a successful growth strategy she took over  increased responsibility in the French market.



  • Emiliano Gonzalez, who will serve as CLIA Spain Vice Chairman, is the General Manager of MSC Cruises in Spain, has always been involved with the tourism sector, having held several managerial roles in five different travel agencies during the first 35 years of his professional career. He joined MSC Cruises in 2002 as Sales Director, assuming the role of General Manager in June 2004. Emiliano graduated as Director of Tourism Enterprises at Madrid’s Official School of Tourism. He is currently a member of Spain’s Tourism Roundtable.



  • Alfredo Serrano, who will serve as National Director for CLIA Spain, has been involved with the cruising industry since 2002, when he became Managing Director of Iberocruceros, part of the Carnival Group. During the 11-year period he held this position, Alfredo oversaw the company’s growth from 20 to more than €200 million turnover and helped establish the company as a key player in the Spanish travel market. Before joining the world of cruising, he held managing positions in several companies, including Honeywell and ASEA Brown Boveri. An Industrial Engineer by training, Alfredo also completed an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau (France).


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