(L-R) Edie Rodriguez, Bruce Anderson, Sally MacMillanAlso at the podium will be Bruce Anderson. Anderson is a founding Principal of Starcrest Consulting Group in Seattle and has over 25 years of experience working on critical environmental issues for the cruise industry including major emissions reduction programs. He will speak on Starcrest’s work with port and maritime related air quality issues and development of Clean Air Plans. He has extensive background working in the US and internationally and consulted on White Bay Cruise Terminal for the Port Authority of NSW.Destination Development will be a key theme at this year’s event. Journalist, Sally MacMillan best known as the author of the “Cruise Director” section for Fairfax will draw on her extensive cruising experience to deliver an insightful look at what works and what doesn’t when passengers arrive in port.Additional plenary and group workshop sessions will explore a range of topics critical to the growth of the cruise industry including homeporting, infrastructure development, benchmarking and the regulatory landscape.The Conference is being sponsored by the Port Authority of NSW and Destination NSW. It will be held this year at the Four Seasons Hotel which was chosen in the main due to its close proximity to the Opera House and the Overseas Passenger Terminal where some of the hospitality sessions will take place.Australian Cruise Association CEO, Jill Abel said “On the back of an exciting time for the cruise industry, we are delighted to continue the momentum at this major event which will celebrate our members who play a key role in this multi-billion industry.”“We want to recognise the vital role our members play as the unsung heroes behind the scenes of this amazingly powerful industry. We will help them grow in this role by providing them with rich information and new insights from the speakers while also allowing them the opportunity to network with some of the major players on the global stage” continued Abel. Register hereSource = Australian Cruise Association Registration has opened, and an exciting line-up of initial speakers announced, for the 20th Australian Cruise Association conference to be held in Sydney from September 7-9, 2016.Themed “20 years – Our People, Our Passion, Our Success”, the Conference will celebrate the role of the Association’s members in the successful growth of the cruise industry in this region and will explore the exciting opportunities for growth over the next 20 years.Emceed by Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director of Life Media and Events at Fairfax and Non-Executive Director at Sealink, this year’s speaker line-up reflects the coming of age of the industry and the Association.Edie Rodriguez, President and CEO of Crystal Cruises will give the keynote address. Ms Rodriguez is the first CEO of an international cruise line to speak at an ACA conference. She will speak on the luxury cruising segment, a topic she is well qualified to discuss having worked previously with Azamara Club Cruises, the upmarket division of RCL and for the Cunard and Seabourn brands while at Carnival.Last year, Rodriguez unveiled the blueprint for a major brand expansion for Crystal Cruises which has been dubbed by the travel and hospitality industry as the largest expansion in history for any luxury brand.