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St. Lawrence Seaway Participates in Seatrade Annual Convention

(Washington, D.C., March 3, 2003) - Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) Administrator Albert Jacquez and Great Lakes Cruising Coalition (GLCC) Chairman Mike Doran are leading a delegation of 11 American and Canadian public and private sector maritime professionals from the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System to the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami, Fla. The 19th annual convention runs the entire week of March 3-7.

One of the largest trade shows for the cruise ship industry, Seatrade routinely attracts more than 10,000 people who work as executives, operations staff, travel agents, suppliers, ship owners, shipbuilders, ship operators and tour operators and itinerary planners. The spotlight focuses on every aspect of the marine passenger travel industry: marketing, new technologies and equipment, human resource management, and destination planning and development.

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System representation underscores the commitment by the SLSDC, its Canadian counterpart organization, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, and the GLCC headquartered in Toronto to aggressively promote the Seaway and North America's inland seas to cruise agents seeking exciting yet close-to-home new markets. The GLCC was formed in 1997 to assist port cities on the Great Lakes to gain a share of the growing world-wide passenger cruise market. It has over 26 members representing large commercial ports as well as smaller historic harbors on both sides of the border.

At the trade show, the SLSDC and GLCC will set up a booth display open to the public March 4-6 that depicts the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and its port destinations. Advance meetings have been slated for Administrator Jacquez and GLCC Chairman Doran who also serves as Toronto's Port Director, and other members of the delegation. Attendance at Seatrade in recent years has helped the Seaway Corporations and the GLCC market their system directly to key CEOs in a favorable setting with predictable results.

"We have seen a substantial increase in interest displayed by cruise industry professionals in the last three years about the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System," said Administrator Jacquez. "They are excited about the natural beauty this area has to offer, the diverse opportunities to explore historic and culturally interesting sites, and the fact that we offer the world's safest maritime waterway-highly significant in a world where security has taken on new meaning."

Michael Doran agreed, noting that more and more customers who have previously tried cruises to warm water destinations are opting for new maritime vistas, and that leads increasingly towards exploring the world's largest body of fresh water located close to home: the Great Lakes and its 10,000 mile coast line.

"Georgian Bay shoreline is second to none, and many of our customers prefer modest sized ships that provide premium service and exciting itineraries," he said. "Seatrade will be the ideal marketing forum for us to attract more passengers eager to share quality time onboard and off in North America's heartland."