The growth of tourism has been expanding incredibly in the previous years, along these lines turning into an organization with the largest business (Miller,1990; Jenner and Smith, 1992). As indicated by the World Tourism Organization (2000) during the year of 1999, 592 million international tourism touched base from a rise of 4.5% from 1995. It is critical to understand and assess the advancement of such industries in order to assess the significance of development required have the capacity to assess factors that may prompt to the stages of rejuvenation and decline of the product lifecycle. Thus, in this essay the international cruise industry is the one of the biggest tourism industry over the past decade and has grown significantly. The industry will be examined in order to create an understanding of its growth over the past decade and the factors which trigger the product life cycle.
The international cruise industry is a mature product and has grown rapidly from transporting merchandise at sea to offering travellers the alternative decision to book an excursion on an excellent budget. Cruising is known to be a global phenomenon with its niche market mostly being adults. 20% who of people who cruise are under 40 years old, 42% are between 40 and 59 and 31% are over 60 (Mancini, 2004). These figures indicate cruising is mostly attracted by old individuals since cruising offers relaxation filled with activities. Thus, the most prevalent motivation to why people choose to cruise is a result of the cruise being a floating hotel allowing passengers to travel through different destinations.
The development of the industries maturity established since larger ships and resorts were being built to provide entertainment and leisure facilities in order to encourage growth and gain a competitive advantage. As confirmed by the Mail Online; nine years prior, only one in every 25 package holidays sold was a cruise. Today the proportion has expanded drastically to one in eight. In order for the cruise company to maintain the market they have industrialised, alternative improvements will need to be taken into consideration. For example, different modes of transport which consumers may consider; such as, air travel will encourage the international cruise industry to reconsider their product modifications. On the contrary, according to Turconi (2011), airlines is not the only competition the cruise industry faces. It was stated rather than competing with airlines, cruise lines are competing with destinations, resorts and other alternative vacations. This is because, cruise ships have now become a floating resort in order to maximum possible leisure and entertainment facilities. Furthermore, Weeden, C. Reported in their journal about the evidence of its maturity as well as its continued commissioning and bringing into server ever larger ships, which are able to offer an extensive range of facilities and on board activities such as sports, health and wellness spas, celebration venues etc. Mintel 2014 report illustrates the growth of cruising during the years 2012 and 2013. The report had resulted with an increase of cruise holidays by 1.5% in 2013 following fractional growth of 0.1% in 2012. These figures give an understanding of the cruise industry being able to maintain the maturity stage successfully.
In despite of the fact that the international cruise industry is able to grow towards the maturity stage, it likewise has factors accessible which poses as a threat. The threat can lead to the industry being pinned down to decline. These factors such as the concern for the environment causes travellers to reconsider their choice of travel. Although the cruise industry has developed larger ships and become more luxurious, it produces more waste which has its negative impacts on the marine environment. According to (Sarah V. Thomas), Particular types of wastes such as sewage, graywater and solid waste are a greater concern for cruise ships. As a result of the large number of passengers and crew the ships convey and the extensive volumes of wastes they produce. Passengers change their attitudes in relation to their concerns about the environment and would therefore reconsider not to travel by cruise for the sake of the environment. This causes the international cruise industry to face a loss of profit and a decline since majority of the people who are environmentally friendly are choosing not to cruise. However, in order for the cruise industry to avoid the decline, the industry takes into consideration of its social responsibility by building latest control equipment to eliminate waste discharges into the sea. The industry is enhancing their products by building new technologies to design in order to keep the sea life clean as much as possible (Anon, 2015). Taking into consideration to take a further step and enhance new products can lead the industry to the rejuvenation stage instead of the decline. When the cruise industry has become socially responsible towards the environment, the cruise industries reputation is enhanced since it is fabricated around key intangibles for example, trust, reliability, quality and relationships with its passengers as well as its clients (Hopkins, 2012). Natural disasters however are another threat for the industry, mostly because they are out of the cruise industries control. Disasters such as hurricanes and storms bring a decline in the international cruise industry. According to the (Dale, 2007) they are considered as an â€˜Act of God.â€™ Therefore out of the hands of the industry. For example, on the 26th September 2002 the devastating attack of the Le Joola ship by a massive storm resulted only 64 survivors out of the 1,863 which were on board. The incident was known as one of the worst natural disasters in history (Sinking of MV LE Joola 2013). Since these disasters are out of the cruise industries control, they cause a decline in the number of passengers looking to travel by cruise. The effect of these disasters cause an economic impact on the industry since people are afraid to cruise for their own safety. On the contrary, developments have been made in order to ensure passenger safety on board. Such as, the IMP passenger ship safety initiative undertook an initiative to assess whether the safety regulation is being taken before the ship is ready to board. They had come to a conclusion for the ships to be designed to improve survivability in case of an event happens such as storms and hurricanes, the passengers can stay safely on board. (Cruise sector challenge, page 118)
The rejuvenation stage includes factors which are more on the hands of the international cruise industries control as well as the industry being able to attract consumers by improving their products and facing their competitors. One of the factors include, motivating their staff and giving their passengers a better service in order for them to book a cruise again. As stated by the (Charles B. John M.) on customer service, they confirmed the importance of building customer value not only improves the industries profitability, but also being dependable by treating the staff better and giving them the advantages of working in better conditions. Providing a good service and keeping their staff satisfied contributes to the industryâ€™s growth leading up to the rejuvenation stage, since passengers are more likely to book a cruise again. The entertainment the cruise has enhanced on board are, theatres, music, spas and shops. The (cruise operation management) examined the cruise marketing to be evolving with their products becoming more diverse since the industry keeps on looking for better approaches by addressing passenger needs and fulfilling their desires. As mentioned earlier of the cruise industry attracting the older generation, however because of the development of technology and the new facilities on board, itâ€™s most likely for the industry to attract new consumers. The cruise line industry illustrates the industry providing sevenâ€“day cruises, which tends to attract new people as well as those on a budget such as; young people, families and some seniors. These enhancements by creating new products and changing the way cruising was from the past ten years demonstrates the changes the cruise industry is facing in order to gain a competitive advantage and fix itself to the rejuvenation stage.
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