Conference Tracks

Theme: ‘Cruise’ Track:  “Cruise Tourism: Change Imperative and Dynamics”

This track entails theoretical approaches, case-studies and empirical research related to the evolutionary challenges and opportunities facing the cruise sector, as well as to strategies, innovations and business models to address within an increasingly competitive and globalised market.  First-time cruisers and evolving guest-demographics and an increasingly critical public opinion necessitate finding a balance between profitability and responsibility. New entrants and digitalisation intensify competition at all level of the cruise value-chain.  Existing procedures, systems and infrastructure are being challenged by – and often pose a limitation to – an ever-growing cruise capacity.

Indicative Topics / Areas:

  • Sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Demographic changes and impact on cruise guests’ requirements and preferences
  • Emerging markets & cruise product niches
  • Emerging business models & strategies
  • Service encounter design & optimisation
  • Novel distribution channels and practices
  • Application of emerging technological innovations in cruising
  • Cruising 2.0 (Cruise sector & the internet)

‘Destination’ Track:  Cruise destination- & supply chain- management

Based on the notion that cruises are more than swimming hotels, ports of call and their surrounding attractions are a central component of the cruise holiday.  Developing, managing and marketing cruise destinations is a strategic task involving numerous stakeholders and taking into account a multitude of interests and perspectives.  From a broader perspective the evolution of cruising regions represents a logistical and cross-national communication challenge for cruise operators, public tourism authorities and local, land-based tourism suppliers.

Indicative topics / areas:

  • Economic impacts at both destination- and source market-level
  • Co-opetition (Mergers & Acquisitions, Port-Alliances, Supplier-Management, Public-Private-Partnerships)
  • Emerging Destinations
  • Excursion planning and management
  • Segmentation and guest perceptions
  • Land-Sea product development
  • Port development

‘Knowledge’ Track:  Human resources, cruise education & research

Cruises are a ‘people’s business’.  Human resources, both on board as well as on land, are a critical success factor for producing positive holiday experiences.  Capacity growth, customer diversity and operational complexity, places new demands on staff and renders human resource management a matter of strategic importance.  Apart from HR practices, formal education is also becoming increasingly important in terms of sourcing suitable and adequate personnel for the sector’s current and future needs.  Between the realms of hospitality training, maritime management and business education, an increasing number of formal education institutions are offering cruise-specific programmes and/or modules.  Given the interdisciplinary nature of cruises, developing relevant and effective curricula remains a challenge; which is ultimately related to questions of employability and career perspectives for aspiring cruise professionals.

Indicative Topics / Areas:

  • Bridging theory and practice / dual degree models
  • Cruise curriculum development
  • Crew recruitment and retention
  • Cruise education and training
  • Research paradigms and methodologies for cruise tourism research
  • Methodologies for the recognition of trends (e.g. forecasting)
  • Theoretical perspectives explaining the cruise phenomenon
  • Social, cultural, psychological aspects of cruising
  • Living conditions on board

Guest: ‘Yellow’ Track:  Crime, Corruption, Health and Safety in the Cruise and Tourism Sector

Crime and Corruption do not merely constitute an intriguing holiday theme (and having common characteristics with the area of ‘Dark Tourism’); but they also constitute a bitter reality counting many victims.  Tourism is a globalised business sector impacting the livelihood of millions of people in all parts of the world.  As any other ‘big business’, where significant circuits of capital and information, and power imbalances exist, tourism is fertile ground for corruption and economic crime.  Concurrently, the globalised scope of the tourism industry renders it into a very challenging field of action for national legislators and law enforcement agencies.  Novel tourist experiences, interactions with unknown environments and places, and a sense of freedom from care, represent core elements of the holiday experience. For these very reasons, holidays inherently entail a number of dangers for tourists, rendering them vulnerable to crime.  Conversely, the anonymity that is combined with the consumerist/hedonistic mind-set of many tourists, may well lead to irresponsible and even criminal, behaviour towards locals and others.

Indicative topics / areas:

  • Tourism crime & corruption (e.g. Money laundering, drug trafficking, customs violations, tax evasion, bribery, antiquity-trafficking, tourism-related cybercrime, exploitation, organised crime and the tourism sector, tourism-related violence & sex crimes)
  • Tourism law practice & ethics (e.g. Cross-national comparisons of unethical practices, legislation analysis, funds/programs and multilateral actions/initiatives)
  • Corruption and crime as a holiday theme
  • Safety engineering
  • Risk & crisis management