why this conference?

An uninterrupted growth of cruise activities has been recorded for every single year, for more than three decades, and is in the course of continuation. This phenomenon has been supported by an unstoppable globalisation trend of both the supply (offer of cruises) and the demand (internationalisation of passenger source markets) sides of cruising, with the Caribbean and North America continuing to stand as the major cruise region of all.

Regional variants continue to exist, and the fundamentals of growth differ around the globe. These trends are revealed when comparing the details of the trends in the traditional American market, with the maturing European market(s), or the booming Asian one. Intra-regional dynamics go hand-in-hand with substantial intra-regional shifts of cruise activities.

While both the growing numbers of more than three decades and the detailed fundamentals of this growth would suggest that the globalisation is ‘unstoppable’, the effects of this trend have in recent times started to be questionable. Societal pressures have emerged in several locations that have experienced major cruise growth within a short period of time. In certain destinations, local communities have started questioning the unqualified growth of cruising, which had for long been taken as an a prioribeneficial development. In a number of already developed cruise destinations, especially those which are also popular with other forms of tourism, the increase of cruise activity is not any more the main goal: emphasis has shifted towards the potential negative effects that existing and potential future growth of cruising might result in. Environmental impacts and other potential externalities pose pressures on destinations, thus affect social perceptions on cruise and concerns as regards further growth.Realising, increasing, and respecting the carrying capacity of ports and destinations and addressing the emerging social and environmental questions of today are the conditions of cruise growth continuation.

This acknowledgment fuels present and future business strategies as well as research streams: the ability of all stakeholders and the scholarly community to address the environmental and social questions of today is increasingly seen as the condition for securing the sustainable development of the globalised cruise industry. 

The adjustment of cruise ports and cities to serve these trends, as well as the desires of port-cities and linked tourist destinations to enjoy the benefits produced, is important. As is the preparation of ports as well as of cities and destinations to accommodate cruise activities while securing the economic, environmental, social, and cultural sustainability of their growth. Once defined, specific business cruise strategies might work in support of making this growth sustainable.

The event will benefit by the intellectual debate that has been developed in the 2010s within the global Port Performance Research Network (PPRN), as well as by the professional experience of several members of the scientific committee, either via related scientific and contract research or related professional experience and institutional positions.