Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

88 COMMENTARY Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan explains why the global association’s upcoming conference in Tasmania promises to be a must-attend event this November Elevating the customer experience and sustainability With the mitigation of climate change being high on our agenda, sustainability will take centre stage at our 47th annual conference, which will be held in Hobart, Tasmania, from 4-8 November 2023. However, as will be highlighted by our distinguished keynote speakers, Australian tourism legend Rob Pennicott and Tourism Australia’s Robert Dougan, several conference sessions and panel debates will also focus on elevating the customer experience. The programme is being finalised and, as always, two panels of top ferry leaders will discuss industry trends, challenges and technologies. One of the technology sessions will be dedicated to electrification. As I have pointed out in earlier commentaries in CFR, the ferry industry is at the forefront of adopting new propulsion technologies, including batteries, but it is imperative that shoreside duplicates this effort. In 2022, we launched a global lobbying campaign, urging governments and authorities to prioritise investment in shore power supply infrastructure. To this end, we have partnered with The European Sea Ports Organisation to promote the provision and use of port power grids and sponsored the International Association of Ports and Harbors’ recent shore power submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The outcome of IMO’s latest Marine Environment Protection Committee requires us to shift into high gear. In addition to exploring how ferry operators can go electric and use noncarbon-based fuels, speakers at our conference will also discuss how to lessen our environmental impact in other areas. While we can expect a newbuilding spree to comply with more stringent targets set by IMO, we shouldn’t disregard existing vessels that still have an abundance of Delegates will be able to join a technical tour at Incat Tasmania’s shipyard in Hobart, enabling them to see the world’s largest zero-emissions lightweight ro-pax ferry under construction MIKE CORRIGAN A Canadian former energy industry executive, Mike Corrigan joined Interferry in 2017 after 14 years with BC Ferries – among the world’s largest ferry operators – where he was president and CEO from 2012.