call for papers & extended abstracts (academic program): special session on “cruise marketing & sustainable growth”

The cruise industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global travel and leisure businesses. The sector is enjoying a long-term traffic expansion characterized by exciting annual growth rates. Nevertheless, since 2008 cruise tourism increases at a slower pace, suggesting a more mature market phase.

In this context, practitioners and scholars involved in the industry have been triggered to manage customers in a more proactive and informed manner, also awarding more attention towards the relationship existing between cruise marketing and sustainable growth.

A deeper understanding of trends which are shaping specific market segments, or the market as a whole, can improve cruise operators’ knowledge about who their customers are, how needs and motivations are changing, and how marketing strategies, tactics and tools are expected to evolve for fitting the market.

In this perspective, both strategic marketing decisions and marketing mix policies of cruise operators are expected to benefit from i) the development of new theories and analytical models capable to keep the pace of the market changes as well as from ii) the exploitation of emerging digital technologies and quantitative/statistical methods for market analysis and decision making.

For example, greener and more sustainable strategies by cruise companies can create value in a customer perspective fitting the evolution of cruisers’ preferences, needs and travel motivations, as environmental concerns and sustainable issues growingly influence cruisers’ behaviour and consumption patterns, leading to the emergence of large segments of “green” cruisers. Relatedly, cruise marketing is argued to shift from the establish paradigm of economic profit priority towards long-term sustainability and “green” strategies. This emerging holistic perspective integrates production, sales, and consumer issues with green, responsible, and relationship marketing. In addition, cruise lines and cruise-related companies can also design greener cruise packages for improving their relationships with both customers and salient stakeholders and for updating their channel and communication strategies.

In this vein, innovative enabling technologies related to Industry 4.0 such as big data analytics, IoT platforms, location detection technologies, cloud computing, etc. provide insightful opportunities for developing new sustainable marketing strategies and tailor-made marketing actions as well as for securing those market segments that are still untapped.
Among others, geo-marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, social media marketing and multichannel marketing by cruise lines and cruise terminal operators could greatly benefit from the introduction of the abovementioned emerging digital technologies within enterprise boundaries.

New marketing perspectives, innovative managerial tools, as well as the adoption of quantitative methods and statistical software are expected to inform the decision-making process and to strengthen both strategic and operative marketing choices of cruise managers and practitioners in a sustainable growth perspective.

The present special section is embedded in the Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020 to be held in Cartagena (Colombia) and focuses on cruise marketing along with a sustainable growth perspective, addressing managerial tools and quantitative methods for supporting decision making.

The organizers are looking for original and innovative contributions that both are grounded in management and marketing theories or propose industry-related approaches to the topic, thus contributing to the academic and practical debate on cruise marketing for sustainable growth.

tentative topics

–      Path-breaking trends in the cruise industry
–      Strategic marketing for sustainable growth in the cruise industry
–      Motivations to travel, green tourism and the development of new green cruise packages
–      Customer centricity to create and co-create value in cruise industry
–      Innovative marketing mix policies for sustaining cruise market growth
–      Customer relationship management (CRM) systems in the era of sustainable cruising
–      Customer portfolio management &  relationship marketing: opportunities & risks originating from sustainable cruise tourism
–      New models and practices to improve cruiser experience (on-board and/or in destinations)
–      Emerging channel and distribution strategies for cruise sustainable growth
–      Social media marketing platforms as a tool for cruise tourism marketing and research
–      Bigdata analytics, IoT platforms, and cloud computing and other Industry 4.0 technologies as opportunities for developing cruise marketing strategies and tactics in a sustainable perspective
–      Geo-marketing and location detection technologies: insights from the cruise market.

after the conference

It is the intention of the special session organizers to edit a special issue on the topic in a high-ranked journal after the Cartagena Cruise Dialogue 2020 Conference. The authors of high-quality papers and extended abstracts will be invited to submit their full papers for the planned special issue.

special session organisers

  • Giovanni Satta – University of Genoa (Italy), Department of Economics and Business & CIELI (
  • Thanos Pallis – University of the Aegean (Greece), Department of Shipping, Trade and Transport (STT) (
  • Luca Persico – University of Genoa (Italy), Department of Economics and Business & CIELI (
  • Marcello Risitano – University of Naples “Parthenope” (Italy), Department of Business and Quantitative Methods (

to be part of the session

Interested contributors are kindly asked to submit an abstract (of a paper or extended abstract) in line with the regular submission schedule, by September 20, 2019 to: Giovanni Satta (

The Schedule stands as follows:

  • 20 September 2019: Deadline for abstracts
  • 30 September 2019: Notification of acceptance of abstracts
  • 20 November 2019: Deadline submission of full papers and extended abstracts
  • 30 November 2019: Notification of acceptance of full papers and extended abstracts

about the conference

The Cartagena Cruise dialogue 2020 will be held in Cartagena Colombia, 19-21 February 2020 in both English and Spanish

The event is under the auspices of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) and the Port Performance Research Network (PPRN).

To read more about both the academic program (20-21 February 2020) and the industry one (19-20 February 2020) and of the Cartagena Cruise dialogue 2020 visit:

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