Skip to main content
CODE 102487
SEMESTER 1° Semester


The course is intended to provide an in-depth information and analysis on the economics of the three relevant sector of passenger shipping: ferries (transport), cruises (leisure, tourism), boating/yachting (leisure, tourism, sport).

The course also aims at providing the background to: business intelligence and management; research and forecasts; guidelines for policies and laws.

The course also includes a seminar on the cruise industry ("The new cruise industry: trends and challenges") held by a top manager of the industry, with a workshop that involves the active participation of the students.




The course focuses on the main current issues in passenger shipping, namely in the three sectors in which it is presently significant: cruises, ferries, and yachting/boating. For each sector the fundamentals of demand and supply functions, along with market structure and competition are analysed. Furthermore, some macroeconomic issues such as contribution to GDP and to exports, employment, induced effects, and policy guidelines such as tax policies and incentives. The course is intended to provide in-depth information and analysis on the economics of the three relevant sectors of passenger shipping, related to tourism, leisure and sports (cruise, yachting/boating), and to transport (ferries). It also aims at providing the background to: business intelligence and management; research and forecasts; guidelines for policies and laws.


The course focuses on the main sectors in which the maritime transport of people is still present: the cruise sector, the yachting sector and the ferry sector. For each sector, the fundamental characteristics of supply and production, the organization and structure of the market, the macroeconomic and economic policy aspects are analysed.

The course also aims - using suitable active, interactive and constructive teaching methods - to develop, at a basic level, personal competence (ability to identify one's own abilities and ability to concentrate and critically reflect on a topic), the ability learning skills ('learning to learn' skills, learning strategies, organization and assessment of personal learning) and design creativity skills (ability to develop one's imagination and creativity, critical reflection, strategic thinking).

At the end of the course the student will have to be able to identify and deal with problems, critical issues and solutions to the topics analysed, also in the context of case studies submitted to his attention and with the possible development of individual or group project work.


Basic knowledge in microeconomics, macroeconomics, transport economics.


Lectures and seminars by external guests (top representatives of the three industries), with the use of Aulaweb and the most suitable audiovisual aids.

On a voluntary basis, workshops are planned, also as part of the supplementary teaching course, which use active, interactive and constructive teaching methods, namely Cooperative Learning (Debate, Think-Pair-Share), Reflective diary (limited to the personal competence), Teaching for groups and/or projects.


Part I: Introduction and methodology - An overview on maritime passenger transport: historical background and present organisation. Ferries, boating/yachting, cruises: their role in the transport industry and their links with tourism and other industries. Guidelines for sector analysis: (a) Microeconomics: the demand analysis, production function and costs, structure of the market and strategies of the players; (b) Macroeconomics: expenditure, added value, employment, contribution to GDP and to export; input-output links, direct and induced impact, multiplier effects; (c) Economic policy: market regulation, fiscal policies (taxes and incentives), public investment and expenditure, land use and infrastructure planning, environmental protection.

Part II: The economics of cruises - The demand: motivations to cruising, elements influencing the demand (price, income, social effects), competitors, direct and cross elasticity. The growth of the demand over time. The supply: the production function, fixed and variable costs, investment and competition strategies. The market: an oligopolistic market: the big world players and the different forms of competition. The growing macroeconomic importance of cruises in national economies and in related sectors (tourism, shipyards): geographical and economic links. Policies: why, when and how to promote the cruise industry. Fiscal and labour policies. Cruises and the environment, the Concordia case and the “Venice dilemma”.

Part III: The ferry-boat industry - Types of ferries, passenger and mixed transport, geographical distribution. The demand:  function, factors influencing, direct price and income elasticity. Substitutes, inter-mode competition and cross elasticity. Production and supply. The structure of costs: fixed and variable, long and short run. Investment and market/growth/competition strategies. Macroeconomic issues: contribution to GDP and employment, external and environmental effects of modal switch to ferries. Policies: external vs. direct benefits/costs in the inter-mode competition. When and why public subsidies to ferries are useful. Promoting competition vs. the abuses of fiscal policies and vs. private oligopolies/monopolies. Investment and public expenditure in the industry and in infrastructure (ferry/port terminals and land infrastructure). 

Part IV: The economics of boating and yachting - The final demand and the “self-production”. The demand for inputs: vessels, accessories, motors, rent services, leasing and financial services, insurance, bunker, crew, mooring and storage. The supply side: the economics of shipyards, building, maintenance and repair, refitting: production costs, competition strategies. The related sectors of marinas and boat/yacht renting. Markets, market trends, players. The “big crisis” of 2008-2014. Moving towards the recovery. Macroeconomic issues: contribution to GDP and export. An Italian excellence. Direct and induced employment. Impact of the related industries and links with the nautical tourism. Policy issues: how regulations can affect the success of the sector. The consequences of fiscal policies (property tax). Leasing and other regulations. Guidelines for future policies. 


Teaching material will be available at the beginning of the course, on Aulaweb.


Exam Board

ENRICO MUSSO (President)






The course will start in the first semester (September-December), according to the general timetable issued by the Department.


Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.



The exams are based on written tests carried out in the classroom with the support of Aulaweb and on oral interviews. Details are provided on Aulaweb and in the classroom.

On a voluntary basis, individual students or small groups can agree on insights through workshops and laboratories - conducted with active teaching methodologies (cooperative learning, group or project teaching) - on topics that combine concepts and problems addressed in the course with specific topics also linked current affairs, giving rise to short essays or presentations at the end of the work.
The detailed structure of the exams, also based on the students' options, will be communicated at the beginning of the course on Aulaweb.

Signing up for exam sessions on the platform ( is strictly mandatory.


The written test aims at assessing the learning of basic concepts and information provided in the course, as well as the ability of applying them to the concrete realty, and of properly identifying examples and practical cases. 

Summaries of guest lectures aim at evaluating the students' ability of intepretating external information according to the general framework of the course.  

Short essays and workshops should allow to show the students' ability to autonomously (also in team) set and develop a simple workplan related to the topics of the course, establish findings and draw and discuss coherent conclusions.      

The oral examination is based on a more thorough capacity of elaborating basic concept and information by applying in more complex circumstances and cases. 

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
09/01/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
24/01/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
08/02/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
23/05/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
14/06/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
04/07/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
10/09/2024 12:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale


Students with a certified DSA, disability or other special educational needs are advised to contact the lecturer at the beginning of the course in order to agree on teaching and examination methods that, while respecting the teaching objectives, take into account individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory tools.

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Good health and well being
Good health and well being
Affordable and clean energy
Affordable and clean energy
Decent work and economic growth
Decent work and economic growth
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Responbile consumption and production
Responbile consumption and production
Life below water
Life below water


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Imparare a imparare base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Creazione progettuale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Personale base 1 - A
 PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica base 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Alfabetica base 1 - A