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Executives to Debate Financial Future of Cruise Industry

May 30, 2008 By: George Dooley

Adam Aron, chairman and CEO of personal consulting firm World Leisure Partners, Inc., and Robert Simonson, an analyst with William Blair & Co., a Chicago-based investment firm, will headline a debate titled "The Financial Future of the Cruise Line Industry" at the American Society of Travel Agents' (ASTA) first ever Retail Travel Leadership Summit.

The summit, held at this year's THE TRADESHOW in Orlando, September 8, will spotlight issues critical to the travel industry and provide an exclusive audience of senior level executives, travel agents, select media and industry representatives. The goal: new insights into such topics as the future profitability of the travel industry and the economics of going green.

"Travel agents are constantly under siege from various segments of the industry and as airline commissions lessened and finally went away altogether, many agents turned their sights to cruise sales. As such, an open debate about the future of this market segment will provide much needed understanding for the travel agency industry and its future, as well as that of the cruise lines," said Bill Maloney, CTC, ASTA executive vice president and COO.

Simonson has been with William Blair & Co. since 1995 when he joined to cover consumer services companies. Today, his coverage includes cruise, motor sports, leisure products and sporting equipment retailers. Prior to joining World Leisure Partners, Aron was chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Vail Resorts, Inc. Before that, he was president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, senior vice president of marketing for United Airlines and senior vice president-marketing for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

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