Important cruise and ferry industry forecasts emerged from the 21st Century Passenger Transport Conference held at London’s University of Greenwich. Delegates were told that, terrorism notwithstanding, cruise passengers will grow 50% to 1.5 million by 2010. But ferry volumes will be halved in the decade to 2010 unless the industry can counter competition from cut-price airlines.
The debate was chaired by Bryony Coulson from the UK Passenger Shipping Association which represents both the cruise and ferry industries based in the UK. The conference was enlivened by contributions from competing ferry companies as well as providing an insight into the way rival low-cost airlines work. It was attended by delegates from both the United Kingdom and abroad. Professor Sarah Palmer, Director of the Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich said: “The conference, a mix of academic and commercial analysis, was unique in that it brought under one-roof representatives of the marine, airline and rail industries.”
In his closing address Bill Moses, chief executive of ShipShape said: “I think we can justifiably claim that this first event was a big success. It is likely that any future conference will embrace an even wider range of interests.” The event, staged by Greenwich Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich and backed by ShipShape International, a leading marine management company, was deemed such a success that it will be repeated next year.