The 47th Annual Interferry Conference takes place in Hobart, Tasmania on November 4-8, 2023. With focus on elevating the customer experience and sustainability, expert presentations will feature the latest trends in tourism, service automation and onboard entertainment, as well as ship construction and conversion trends, optimised operations, and safety measures.

The vast majority of ferry operators worldwide rely heavily on tourist travel. How global tourism trends have changed and will develop post COVID-19 are part of the keynote of Robert Dougan from Tourism Australia, who kicks off the conference on Day 1. In providing a local example, Tasmanian tourism legend Rob Pennicot will elaborate on how to create unforgettable moments for travellers. Their input will be further enhanced with presentations on how to elevate the customer journey via self-service tools and apps as well as state-of-the-art booking and ticketing systems.

Sustainability is key in ferry conversion and newbuilding, whereof two examples for future efficient tonnage from the Southern hemisphere are presented by Conference President Bernard Dwyer of Spirit of Tasmania and Walter Rushbrook of KiwiRail’s Interislander. From a technical perspective, the highlight of the programme features a tour that takes the delegates to the Incat shipyard, where the world’s largest zero-emissions lightweight ro-pax ferry will be seen under construction.

Interferry´s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Johan Roos, will update delegates on the outcomes from 2023 IMO sessions and Interferry’s Operators Policy Committee meetings, as well as the association’s domestic ferry safety efforts. Both days will boast the conference’s signature ferry leaders panel debates as  top ferry leaders will discuss industry trends, challenges and technologies.

“The conference is Interferry´s annual global forum for senior industry leaders to network, exchange information and hear what’s new in the ferry business,” says Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan. “Our aim at this year’s conference in Hobart is to discuss how the ferry business can continue to thrive in an environment of ever-accelerating change, driven by climate, regulation, customer behaviour and technical innovation. I am more than excited to welcome our members and all interested parties to Tasmania. We are ‘Stronger Together’ when working collectively to embrace opportunities and overcome challenges.”

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