Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist: The Need for a New Typology?

Chapter 7 Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist: The Need for a New Typology? Per Åke Nilsson CRT, Bornholm, Denmark MidSweden University, Östersund, S...
Author: Valentine Day
1 downloads 1 Views 172KB Size
Chapter 7

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist: The Need for a New Typology?

Per Åke Nilsson CRT, Bornholm, Denmark MidSweden University, Östersund, Sweden

Introduction State of the art Cruising is defined as a passenger vessel operating for pleasure purposes only. The ships are not involved in the transportation industry, like ferries or cargo ships. For the cruiser, it is not a matter of going from A to B; the voyage is a part of a holiday package (Cartwright and Baird 1999) According to that definition, cruise tourism is not a big branch in global tourism, even if its share of total sea tourism has steadily increased from about half a million passengers in 1970 to almost 10 million passengers in 2000 (Marcussen, Nilsson, Petersen, and Petersen 2005). It has often been regarded as just an expensive pleasure for graying and wealthy pensioners. Dickinson and Vladmir (1997) point to the fact that the first mass marketoriented cruise company—Carnival Cruise Lines—advertised their ships as holiday destinations and not the ports of call. Furthermore, revenue for the ports visited has been said to be very low. Research in the Caribbean (Hamlyn 1998), Corpus Christi in Texas (de la Viña and Ford 1998), Barbados (Dann and Potter 1997), and Bermuda (Archer 1995) has shown that the economic impact ranges from US$100 to $400 per passenger. However, there is no agreement on how to properly measure the economic impact. Lately, however, there has been an increase in interest in cruise tourism among tourism researchers (Bull 1996; Burt 1998; Cartwright and Baird 1999; Cockerell 1997; Douglas and Douglas 1996; Dwyer and Forsyth 1996; Frantz 1999; Gmelch 2003; Morrison, Yang, O’Leary, and Nadkarni 1996; Moscardo, Morrison, Cai, O’Leary, and Nadkarni 1996; Peisley 1999, 2000). 92

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

93

The historical background to cruise tourism was of interest to Douglas and Douglas (1996), with a focus on the South Pacific. They describe the different phases of cruise tourism development, starting in 1884 as a subsidiary activity to mail transport.The Golden Age was the luxurious interwar period when cruising came into its own as a desirable tourism experience (with, e.g., possibilities of playing cricket on deck). World War II was a disaster for all sea transport and the recovery period after the war was broken by the jet aircraft development during the 1960s.The jet era with its charter tourism became severe competition for ocean liners and, together with the international oil crisis in the 1970s with its booming fuel prices, paved the way for the unavoidable transformation of ocean liners from ferry and cargo transporters to cruise liners. With a base in the Caribbean, cruise liners continued to grow and began to challenge land-based resorts. Morrison et al (1996) and Moscardo et al (1996) find that some hotel chains such as Radisson, Holiday Inn, and Hyatt International were attracted to diversification into the cruise business in order to maintain their market share. A challenge for the cruise industry is to find niche markets for their products. Peisley (1999) points out in his documentation on the global cruise ship industry that it has failed in its attempts to do so. The markets do not seem to be mature enough to support niche marketing. Although cruising is, he argues, one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism market, only the Caribbean and Mediterranean basins are significantly impacted by the cruise ship sector. He is also concerned about overcapacity, because 50 additional cruise ships were expected to join the cruise fleets between 2003 and 2006 (Peisley 2000). There are, however, alternative forms and niches for cruise tourism, such as river cruise tourism. UK river cruise passengers are documented by Cockerell (1997). Political events, he states, in certain areas of the globe can change river cruise patterns from, for example, the very popular Nile to rivers in Eastern Europe, especially the Neva–Volga connection. Environmental problems are linked to the increase in cruise tourism, such as congestion problems at the ports, and the social problems associated with flags of convenience and their poor working conditions and low wages (Frantz 1999). Franz also mentions avoidance of corporate taxes and the flaunting of antipollution regulations. Cartwright and Baird (1999:163) write that a modern cruise ship is designed to retain its garbage for disposal at the destinations. Anything dumped at sea should be clean and biodegradable. A further breakdown of cruise tourism is made by Hobson (1993). He states that in order to talk about the cruise industry, the product and the market places must be defined. Cruising is a single but segmented market, he finds, with highly differentiated products.The market can be divided into four segments: mass, middle, luxury, and specialty. Bull defines the product as something that performs “essentially the same function or possesses some basic homogenous characteristics . . . [which] may lead to an identifiable price nexus” (1996:29). In the long run this will probably occur.As for the marketplaces, a great variety of market characteristics exist due to geographic conditions and governmental priorities. He gives an overview of these characteristics in a matrix, shown in Table 7.1. Bull finds that the cruise industry differs in investment strategies from other types tourism industries. Normally, an investment in tourism is made in a specific country with a national bank connection and a national association, in one or other way, for the company. Cruise companies have no connections with a destination when they invest. The capital is purely international and the industry is “footloose,” as Bull says. It is an extreme example of multinational capitalism.

P. Å. Nilsson

94

Table 7.1. Overview of Cruising Markets Location/Type

Comment

Supply/Markets

River, canal, lake cruises

Several markets according to location

Small, shallow vessels, often domestic markets

Special interests (sailing education, exploration)

Worldwide markets, highly differentiated

Purpose-built vessels, specialist crews, degree of monopoly through differentiation

Long-distance ocean cruising

Single world market

Large vessels, often relying on “tradition” and luxury, resources acquired internationally

Extended ferry “mini-cruises”

Usually domestic

Joint product with car ferries

Short ocean cruises

World market, heavily dominated by US

Mostly large purpose-built vessels

Source: Bull (1996).

Dwyer and Forsyth (1996) discuss the economic impact of cruising and the problems attached to measuring it.Their different sources of economic impact are shown in Table 7.2. The Caribbean is the main area for cruise tourism. In a study of tourism in Barbados, Gmelch (2003) states that cruises account for more than 50% of the arrivals in Barbados but less than 10% of the revenue. In an interview with the authorities of the island, an official says: We’re still not sure what we want from cruise tourism. . . . In some ways they are more of a burden to the infrastructure than an asset. But then there are locals who benefit from the cruise-ship visitors. . . . Overall, I don’t think cruise visitors make enough of a contribution to offset their impact on the infrastructure. But governments in the region don’t agree, and some spend a lot of money on infrastructure to accommodate cruise passengers. (Gmelch 2003:185) In summary, in the 19th century cruising was, in the beginning, a subsidiary business to mail transport or car ferries.The introduction of passenger jet air traffic made it necessary for ocean liner operators to differentiate their activities and include cruising in their portfolio. Only in the 1990s did the cruise industry develop as a business in its own right. Today, land-based tourist activities endeavor to strengthen their positions by joining the cruise market. New types of cruising patterns have emerged, such as fly-and-cruise and river cruising. In that respect, fly-and-cruise is very valuable for the departure/arrival destinations.

New Trends Cruise tourism is today a growing segment within the tourism industry and it is possible to identify certain trends.The ships are becoming bigger and bigger and are, in many

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

95

Table 7.2. Cruise Expenditure and Regional and National Effect Type of Expenditure

Item Purchases

Passenger Airfares to/from destination

Impact National

Internal travel

Road, rail, air

National, regional fares

Add-on expenditure turn-around

Accommodation, meals, tours, and attractions

National, regional share

Port expenditure

Meals, tours, shopping

Port region

State/government Port charges Towage Stevedoring

State and regional Regional Regional Regional

Provedoring

Bunkering Stores Services (waste, water)

National Regional and national Regional

Crewing

National crew Port expenditure foreign crew

National Regional

Operator Port expenditure

Ship maintenance

Regional

Marketing at the destination

National and regional

Taxes

Income tax, customs duty, departure tax

National and regional

Source: Dwyer and Forsyth (1996).

respects,“floating resorts.” Cruise companies compete in constructing vessels over 100,000 registered tons and with a passenger capacity of over 3,000 beds.There are intimations of overcapacity even if the signs have still not materialized.The question remains of how the cruise fleet should be composed: big, small, medium, luxurious, ordinary, or themed ships (Cartwright and Baird 1999; Holloway 2002; Ward 2004). A trend towards smaller ships is being launched, for instance, by Royal Olympia Cruises. The company is ready to back small vessels for special missions. It will give passengers better opportunities to experience the tour (personal communication with Royal Olympia Cruises). Hebridean Island Cruises and Noble Caledonia operate fleets of very small ships and they seem to compensate for their size with repetitive tours. The small ships, Island Sun and Island Sky, brought a combined total of around 1,000 passengers to the Baltic Sea during 2004. The same reason lies behind the idea of themed tours. The welcome organization on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea arranges some “art tours,” although that is a minor part of the supply (personal communication with Eva Madvig, Team Bornholm). Other trends are for more direct control over passengers and ports by the cruise companies, determining, for instance, how passengers are taken care of at different destinations. In general, the destinations are split into three different areas: the pedestrian zone, the sightseeing zone (by bus), and the excursion zone. In a study of cruise tourism in the

P. Å. Nilsson

96

Baltic Sea, it is noted that accessibility to these zones differs radically (Marcussen et al 2005). In small ports, like Kalmar in the Baltic Sea, there is easy access to all zones. The ships moor close to the city center. On the other hand, there are not many ships and none of them are large ones. About 20% of the passengers prefer nonorganized tours and for them the pedestrian zone is not always accessible in an appealing way.This seems to be the weak point of cruising today. Previously, the conventional passenger type expected a transfer or tender boat to the city to be organized. Today, there is probably a stronger demand for self-arranged visits to the city center. Shuttle buses are, of course, available and handy but the passengers have to be aware of departure times and, above all, when they return again to the ship. Sightseeing tours are popular, because they provide a comprehensive view of the destination. Another trend is to make efforts to meet environmental and social problems.When big ships arrive to small ports, congestion will arise and that will have an impact, not only on nature but also on the traditions and social behavior of the local residents. Cruising also has the potential to reach even the most peripheral destination and in so doing erase the last of the “untouched” places from the map. According to some, this will mean many “paradises lost” and according to yet others, an instrument of development for even peripheral areas (Holloway 2002). The stereotype of a cruise passenger has been a “conservative and rather elderly passenger who chooses to spend his/her days at sea playing bridge and drinking cups of bouillon” (Holloway 2002:125).This stereotype has cracked and the present trend is manifold and hard to forecast, which means that niche marketing has potential, but one that is hard to implement. On the other hand, Moscardo et al (1996) state that, by the all-inclusive nature of its product, cruising has a clear marketing advantage, one that minimizes customer inconvenience almost to zero.This is what passengers demand and what satisfies them. In the late modernist era, the concept of McDonaldization was launched as a model on how to control the rapid growth of mass tourism.To some extent, it is rooted in economic theory, according to North and Thomas (1981), but mostly in business management theory on the benefits of mass production (Batchelor 1994).The McDonaldization thesis is elaborated by Ritzer (1993) and includes five core principles: efficiency, calculability, predictability, control, and the irrationality of rationality. Criticism of this thesis and the appropriateness of its principles on cruise ships are pointed out by Weaver (2005). He writes that the principles aim at efficiency, and efficiency circumscribes choice and creates rules and structures that restrict individual’s choice.

The New Tourist The “new tourist” was described by Poon (1993) as the new type of tourist emerging during the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s.This traveler • • • • • •

is independent-minded, prefers flexible and spontaneous itineraries, wishes to have a positive impact on the destination, searches for physically and mentally challenging experiences, is sensitive to local cultures, is a green consumer,

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

• • • •

97

is conscious of social justice concerns, carefully assesses tourism products in advance, searches for authentic and meaningful experiences, is motivated by a desire for self-fulfillment and learning.

Poon’s description follows the trends set by postmodern thinking, starting after World War II and becoming common by the end of the 20th century. Based on the thoughts of Foucault, Lévy-Strauss, and Bourdieux, postmodern ideas focus upon the heterogeneous world that does not fit in with Talcott Parson’s (1951) ideas of the “modern” state. Piore and Sabel (1984) comment rather generally that in a postmodern world, uniformity and predictability have been supplanted by variety and choice.There is no longer a common value base in society (if there ever was), and the individual has to create their own world, based upon their “habitus” (Bourdieu 1981). Urry (1990) transfers these findings to tourism by focusing upon the difference between the “collective” and the “romantic” gaze. Later on Urry (2001) describes the effects on cultural homogeneity by referring to the porous borders of today between countries and cultures. Poon’s “new tourist” can, in that context, serve as a model for trends in the development of postmodern tourism. Cruise tourism, as a form of all-inclusive tourism, does not include many of the characteristics formulated by Poon (1993). Cruising is, instead, an incarnation of the concept of “modernist” mass tourism. There is little room in cruising for an independent-minded passenger. Flexible and spontaneous itineraries are out of the question. Further, it is doubtful whether environmentally concerned tourists are comfortable with a cruise tour.The same is probably true with tourists who are conscious of social justice. Many cruise lines have their base in Bermuda, St Vincent, Mauritius, or Malta where demands are fairly liberal for the companies, which means, above all, low wages and little social security for the staff but also low profit taxes. The question is, therefore, if there will be a change in the concept of cruise tourism so that it will better meet the needs of more postmodern tourists.That question is obviously clear for a lot of the ferry companies but very little has been written about it in the tourism research literature. It may be seen as typical that the TV show The Love Boat in the US during the 1970s and 1980s was based on a cruise ship, while a similar show in Sweden—Rederiet (The Shipping Company)—in the 1990s is based on a ferry.This study will focus upon how different ferry companies in the Baltic Sea and adjacent waters around the Scandinavian countries cope with the question.

The Study The Norwegian Coastal Express (Hurtigruten) This section is based on Nilsson (2005). Hurtigruten, the daily Norwegian Coastal Express between Bergen and Kirkenes, started in 1891 with the idea of providing an express boat service between Trondheim and Hammerfest. The first vessels carried mostly post and passengers. Cargo eventually became the most important mission for the ships. The route was extended southward to Bergen in 1898 and northward to Vadsø in 1907, and to Kirkenes in 1914 (Figure 7.1). The route is now covered daily by 11 ships from Bergen to Kirkenes. There are two companies sailing the route: Ofotens og Vesteraalens Damskipsselskab (OFDS) in Narvik

98

P. Å. Nilsson

Figure 7.1. Map with the Hurtigruten ports of call. Source: www.hurtigruten.com

and Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskab (TFDS) in Tromsø with three generations of ships: from the early years of 2000, the 1990s, and earlier. These have been specially equipped with refrigerated compartments, roll on/roll off facilities for loading cargo on pallets, and vehicle holds. In addition, the new generation of vessels features extensive single-class public facilities, conference rooms, and quality cabins.Although the main purpose of the service was to link west coast communities to each other, attracting tourism to the route was considered a necessary source of additional revenue even in the very early days. Hurtigruten played an important role in the commercial life of Northern Norway for a long time. Its importance has, however, decreased as other means of transport have been

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

99

developed and constructed. It is still a popular tourist attraction and the transport of local residents and local goods is still highly rated by many destinations along the coast, but today it cannot carry its own costs and the parliament (Stortinget) subsidized the route with 180 million NOK annually from 1991 to 2001. That means that each passenger is subsidized by 430–440 NOK compared to 350–650 NOK for alternative transport facilities.This has been prolonged in various forms up to 2012. Hurtigruten functions as the only comprehensive transport supply on the coastal route from Bergen to Kirkenes and serves about 500,000 people annually (as of 2001) of which 75% visit a specific place and are predominant in the winter season. Ten percent are business tourists with the opportunity to hold conferences on board.The remainder (15%) are cruise tourists. The comprehensiveness of the route depends on the fact that it offers facilities for all the needs associated with servicing a transport route along a coast. It was this very comprehensiveness that the Norwegian government had to emphasize in order to obtain permission from EFTA to subsidize the route. A governmental committee proposal to parliament in 1990 suggested a more marketoriented solution by splitting the route into minor sections, giving them a better chance of carrying their own costs. The politicians were not in favor of this proposal. They decided that the route should survive by a support package. However, the support should subsidize passenger transport and not cargo or tourism. The committee report showed that the passengers paid 153 million NOK in 1988 to Hurtigruten.The cruise passengers’ share of this was 60%. Hurtigruten operates under commercial terms during the period from May to September (5 months). The losses for the rest of the year are larger than the profit made during the summer season. Purchase of “tickets” by the state in order to wipe out the losses amounted to 170 million NOK in 1999. For 2001 it was 194 million NOK (ca. 22 million Euro in 2004 value). The number of passengers has doubled since the 1990s, from 280,000 to 540,000 in 2002. Cabin capacity grew steadily during the years between 1992 and 1997 when the new ships were introduced.Then there was a standstill during the years from 1997 to 2001.With new ships in 2001 and 2002, the capacity has more than doubled during this period. In their statistics, the companies distinguish between distance passengers and cruise passengers. Cruise passengers buy a package that includes cabin and meals. The marketing agent for Hurtigruten is Kystopplevelser AS, a tour operator in Bergen. The business idea is to operate and sell tours in Coastal and Northern Norway and to help OVDS and TFDS with the marketing of Hurtigruten. The company also sells cruises for minor vessels in international waters, and also in cooperation with OVDS with its Hurtigruten ships for cruises in Chile and to the Antarctic. Cruise passengers are obviously necessary for the survival of Hurtigruten. They pay a lot of money and, therefore, also demand good comfort and high standards, which is good for the rest of the passengers.As a special experience, they are offered a “coastal culture,” which means a close relationship between cruise and long-distance traffic with its link to everyday life, because the cruise ships transport fish, raw material, groceries, the ill, the deceased, and so on. Sletvold (1997) states that the transformation of Hurtigruten from an institution within the coastal ferry culture into a hub of international cruise traffic can be regarded as a form

P. Å. Nilsson

100

of social entropy.The new ships can be seen both as a break with traditions or a renewal of traditions, which paves the way for a more flexible production but also a more uncertain future.

Ferry Companies in the Baltic Sea The ferry traffic between Stockholm and Helsinki also uses the “cruise” concept. The Silja Line offers cruise packages to their customers, including full service onboard and excursions during a day stop in Stockholm, Turku, or Helsinki. Experiencing nature and the onboard entertainment are the ferry’s main attractions but there are also a lot of niche market tours, such as music, excursions, events, spa, and so on (www.siljaline.se November 11, 2005). Silja Line is for sale and the company declares on its homepage that Silja will dispose of tonnage not serving core operations. Nothing indicates on the homepage that cruise tourism is included in non-core operations (www.siljaline.se/BULLETINS/ November 11, 2005). The Viking Line also has a special cruise ship, the 0indarella, which operates 20-hour cruise tours.The company offers membership in the Viking Club, which gives an up 100% reduction on certain cabins. Overall, the cruise package prices are relatively low (www.vikingline.se). Passenger spending on food and drinks is obviously the source of company revenue. “The cruise passenger of today asks for more activities, experiences and entertainment onboard,” says Helena Kneck, information officer on the Viking Line website. “We have, therefore, chosen to add interesting and exciting themes suitable for different kinds of taste, as a complement to our ordinary cruises. Common to all themed cruises is that they offer something totally extra, from beautiful flowers to refined drinks.” (www.vikingline.se) On their homepage, Viking Line defines the business of the company as carrying both passengers and cargo. Passenger transport is marketed as scheduled traveling, relaxing travel for pleasure, and conference cruise packages. Cargo transport is marketed as an activity to meet the need of industry for secure, rapid, frequent, regular, and profitable cargo services. In a press release dated November 21, 2005, the company announced that it would be buying three new vessels.The first order is due for delivery in January 2008 and there are options for another two ships (Dagens Nyheter 2005). Tallink is based in Tallin, Estonia and has operated cruise and cargo services between Helsinki and Tallin since 1989. In 1997, the company opened in Sweden with a cargo route between Kapellskär and Paldiski. In December 2000, passenger traffic started between Sweden and Estonia. On the route between Tallin and Stockholm, the new cruise ship Victoria (40,000 tons) is contributing to a rapid growth in the number of passengers, said finance director Janek Stalmeister in a press release dated October 2005.The Victoria will sail between Tallin and Helsinki in 2006 and her sister ship Romantica will sail the Tallin–Stockholm route.They will probably be used mainly for cruising, according to the homepage (www.tallink.se). The Unity Line is the youngest Polish ferry company in the Baltic Sea. Since 1995, it has operated three ferries between Swinoujscie in Poland and Ystad in Sweden.The company

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

101

offers cruises as well as passenger and cargo services. The typical cruise comprises a departure from Tuesday to Thursday and an optional day for return (www.unityline.se). The company also serves as an intermediary in dental visits to Stettin, aimed at Scandinavians—the so-called medical tourism (www.dentour.dk). -Line has been sailing between Sweden and Germany since 1962.The company The TT TT-Line is based in Trelleborg, Sweden and current ports of call in Germany are Rostock and Travemünde.TT-Line is a transport company with car-deck, cargo, and passenger facilities but it also offers a variety of cruise packages, such as short holiday breaks with day tours and longer tours with excursions to the old Hansa towns or to Berlin and Prag (www.ttline.se). Scandlines is a joint venture between the Swedish and Danish Government with tours primarily between Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. Scandlines operates 14 ferry routes. The main routes are Helsinborg–Helsingør, Trelleborg–Sassnitz, Trelleborg–Rostock, and Rødby–Puttgarden (www.scandlines.se). Gert Jakobsen, the information officer of Scandlines, states that they do not operate cruises (personal communication). Cruising had been considered as a complementary activity, and the company cruised a route between Trelleborg and Rostock for a while. Scandlines combined a weekend tour with the experience of a sea tour but it did not work, Jakobsen says. He declares that the profile of Scandlines is short routes with a high frequency. This requires big, carefully targeted investments in both ships (e.g., roro ships) and port designs in order to minimize sailing time and berth time to achieve a minimum transport time. Scandline, as a sea transport company, is assessed by its number of departures, waiting time, and travel time, Jakobsen says. Cruising, on the other hand, he thinks, is assessed by certain standards for passengers, service, entertainment, and convenience. That requires special ships with investments in luxurious details, where sailing time and berth time are of minor interest. Despite the declared absence of cruise offers, the news on the Scandlines website for November 2005 said that on Monday, December 8th, Scandline was opening a new “Bordershop” in Sassnitz (the old one is in Puttgarten), close to the Scandline ferries berth. Scandline also offers weekend tickets and 1-day tickets from Sunday to Thursday.All tickets are for return journeys and at discount prices.

Ferry Companies in the North Sea and the Atlantic Based in Scandinavian Countries The Stena Line is based in Gothenburg and operates primarily between Sweden, the UK, and Denmark. In total, they sail 18 routes in Scandinavian waters and around Great Britain. They offer cruise packages to Denmark, Germany, and Poland. The trips to Denmark are short, sometimes just over 1 night or 1 day, while those to Poland and Germany include 2 days onboard and 1 day ashore (www.stenaline.se). Information officer Joakim Kenndal, states that cruise traffic is of minor importance to Stena Line, at around 10% of the total turnover (personal communication). It had a greater importance during the tax-free era but today it is an activity often organized when the number of ordinary passengers is low. Kenndal defines cruise passengers as “generated” passengers and other passengers as “natural” passengers. He does not believe in an increased importance for cruise traffic within the ferry traffic framework, and points to the

102

P. Å. Nilsson

fact that the big ferry companies in the Baltic Sea carrying many cruise passengers have revenue problems. The Color Line has been based in Oslo, Norway since 1990 but its roots in the ferry business go back over 100 years. Its current operation includes seven international ferry routes between ports in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany.The company operates cruises, transport, cargo, and shore-based activities (www.colorline.no). A new ship, the Fantasy, was acquired in December 2004 and since then cruising has increased considerably.The ship has 2,750 beds and a capacity for 750 vehicles on the car deck.According to the annual financial report of the company, the new ship underpins the emerging nature of sea transport with a mixture of cruising, passenger transport, car transport, and cargo. In the report, it states that 58% of the market is passenger transport, 27% is cruising, 11% is pleasure, and 2% truck drivers (Color Group 2004). Pleasure is defined as “external destination products” like hotels, restaurants, and other accommodation facilities booked by the company (personal communication with Elisabeth Anspach). Anspach also notes that the Oslo–Kiel route can be regarded as a cruise route, as the cruising concept predominates. d Line The Fjor Fjord Line, operating from Bergen, Norway, labels itself as a fleet of modern cruise ferries connecting western Norway to Great Britain and the Continent (www.fjordline.co.uk). The company has always had a considerable share of cruising in their ferry operation, says Atle Kvamme, information officer (personal communication). His definition of cruising is traveling from A to B and back to A.The Norway–UK route from Bergen to Newcastle has, to a great extent, had such traffic in both directions. Kvamme states that the reason for cruising is the low occupancy rate for the ordinary ferry traffic, based on passenger and cargo transport.The company offers tickets at a low price and expects to recoup from onboard spending, both in the restaurant and in the tax-free shops. As a non-EU member state, the tax-free aspect is important for Norway. In winter, about 80% of all traffic is based on cruising, often combined with football for Norwegian passengers, and mountain trekking or sightseeing tours for the British passengers. On average, 60% of all traffic to England consists of cruise passengers. For the route to Denmark (Bergen–Hanstholm), the figures have been lower, at just 20%. After the purchase of new ships in 2003, this figure rose to 35%. The company has not encountered any problems with the mixture of both cruise and ferry passengers and compares it to having conference groups.An added value for cruise passengers is the opportunity to stay onboard the ship overnight in Bergen or Newcastle without charge. Most of the passengers use this facility, Kvamme maintains. Kvamme is convinced that cruising is the market of the future. Low-cost flights will offer severe competition to cargo carriers and to ordinary ferry passengers traveling from A to B. yr il Line is based in Thorshavn, Faeroe Islands.The company has only one ship, The Sm Smyr yril the Norröna, which sails weekly between Hanstholm in Denmark and Seidisfjördur in Iceland, with ports of call at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Bergen in Norway. Previously, it sailed only during the summer season but from 2005 it increased the season to all year round. The company has invested in a new ship (with the same name) and offers cruise packages.

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

103

Conclusion In the cruise tourism literature, the cruise tourist is described as a person who has developed from being a member of the higher echelons of society, both with regard to status and age, and with considerable demands for service and commodity into a more middle-class tourist with enough money to afford a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a full-service package, onboard a ship with a relatively high standard of service. The indicators that Poon (1993) gives, outlining an independent and flexible tourist, interested in having an impact on the trip, does not fit in very well with this traditional tourist, even if tradition has changed over time. It is still an all-inclusive package on traditional cruise liners, with tight daytime schedules and excursions. Most ships still have set times for lunch and dinner where all are expected to sit down to eat at the same time and often at fixed tables. For Hurtigruten, cruise passengers account for 60% of the company turnover and their policy is to offer expensive tickets to those able to afford them to balance the poor revenue from ferry passengers and freight.The business idea is to deliberately support cruise tourism and make it a part of the comprehensive concept of the route. Scandline claims the opposite. Cruise tourism is a barrier to the company business of transporting passengers and cargo from A to B following a tight timetable. Cruising interferes with the efforts to fulfill the obligations of the company as a transport carrier. Color Line is the only company with a clear focus on cruise tourism. Viking Line and Silja Line operate what they call cruise tourism where some of the offers available to cruise passengers are cheaper than those for ordinary passengers.Viking Line, in particular, seems determined to continue with the cruise business. Tallink also seems ready to divert some of its operations to cruising on a full-scale basis. The other companies use cruising as a complementary activity.There is a difference in attitude between large and small companies. Stena Line, a large company, does not see cruising as very important while smaller companies, such as Fjord Line and Smyril Line, use cruising as a method of overcoming certain seasonality problems but also in order to achieve full occupancy rates even during the peak season. The ferry market has obviously opened up to cruising both as a main activity but also as an additional offer to ordinary passenger and car transport and to cargo. Some of the companies offer all these services, others just a couple of them. The method of labeling the different types of passengers as “generated” or “natural,” as used by the Stena Line information officer, is most apt.The cruise market is generated or created while the ordinary passenger has a normal or natural need to make the journey.The old definition that a cruise passenger is sailing a route from one destination and returning to it after visiting at least two other ports does not apply to ferry cruise tourism because it is part of regular ferry routes. Hurtigruten started this development, probably “by accident” because the demand was already generated by the beauty of the coastal landscape it sailed along. Then it became necessary for the survival of the route because it was possible to charge the cruise tourists more than the ferry passengers. In that respect, it is more closely related to the old cruising concept than to the modern ferry cruising concept. In order to gain acceptance in accordance with European regulations on competition, Norway had to make the mixture of cruise and ferry traffic a comprehensive concept whereby the mixture became an asset for regional development.

104

P. Å. Nilsson

The study shows that the concept of cruise tourism is fragmenting in a typical postmodern way and it is probable that ferry cruising tourism will increase and surpass the old form of cruise tourism in the near future, if it has not already done so. The main reason for this appears to be both consumer preferences for more flexible schedules and offers and also an insight from the point of view of the ferry companies that a mix between natural and generated passengers may optimize turnover and in doing so hopefully also optimize revenue.

Bibliography Archer, B. 1995 The Impact of International Tourism on the Economy of Bermuda. Journal of Travel Research 34:27–30. Batchelor, R. 1994 Henry Ford, Mass Production, Modernism and Design. Manchester UK: Manchester University Press. Bourdieu, P. 1981 Structures, Strategies, and the Habitus. In French Sociology, Rupture and Renewal Since 1968, C. C. Lemert, ed. New York: Columbia University Press. Bull, A. 1996 The Economics of Cruising: An Application to the Short Ocean Cruise Market. Journal of Tourism Studies 7(2):28–35. Burt,T. 1998 European Cruise to Luxury Contracts. Financial Times 5(February):4. Cartwright, R. and C. Baird 1999 The Development and Growth of the Cruise Industry. Oxford: ButterworthHeinemann. Cockerell, N. 1997 Growth of the River Cruising.Travel Industry Monitor (October 7–8). Color Group 2004 Årsrapport 2004. Oslo: Color Group. Dann, G. S. and R. B. Potter 1997 Tourism in Barbados. In Island Tourism, D. G. Lockhard and D. Drakakis-Smith, eds. London: Cassell. de la Viña,L., and J. Ford 1998 Economic Impact of Proposed Cruise Ship Business.Annals of Tourism Research 26:204–207. Dickinson, R., and A. Vladimir 1997 Selling the Sea: An Inside Look at the Cruise Industry. Chichester: Wiley. Douglas, N., and N. Douglas 1996 P&O’s Pacific. Journal of Tourism Studies 7(2):2–14. Dwyer, L., and P. Forsyth 1996 Economic Impacts of Cruise Tourism in Australia. Journal of Tourism Studies 7(2):36–43. Frantz, D. 1999 Gaps in Sea Laws Shields Pollution by Cruise Lines.The New York Times (January 3).

Cruise Tourism and the New Tourist

105

Gmelch, G. 2003 Behind the Smile:The Working Lives of Caribbean Tourism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Hamlyn, J. 1998 Explorer Caribbean (2nd ed.). Basingstoke:AA. Hobson, J. 1993 Analysis of the US Cruise Line Industry.Tourism Management 14(6):453–462. Holloway, C. 2002 The Business of Tourism. Harlow: Financial Times-Prentice Hall. Marcussen, C. H., P. A. Nilsson, K. M. Petersen, and J. Petersen 2005 Cruise Tourism in the Baltic and Bothnian Sea—a Pilot Atudy on Maritime Tourism. Working paper No. 24, Centre for Regional and Tourism Research, Nexö, Denmark. Morrison,A., C.Yang, J. O’Leary, and N. Nadkarni 1996 Comparative Profiles of Travellers on Cruises and Land-Based Resort Vacations. Journal of Tourism Studies 7(2):15–27. Moscardo, G., A. Morrison, L. Cai, J. O’Leary, and N. Nadkarni 1996 Tourist Perspectives on Cruising: Multidimensional Scaling Analysis of Cruising and Holiday Types. Journal of Tourism Studies 7(2):54–64. Nilsson, P. Å. 2005 Hurtigruten—an Alternative for the Gulf of Bothnia? Centre for Regional and Tourism Research,WP 27, Nexø, Denmark. North, D., and R.Thomas 1993 Structure and Change in Economic History. New York: Norton. Parson,T. 1951 The Social System. England: RKP. Peisley,T. 1999 The World Cruise Ship Industry. London:Travel & Tourism Intelligence. 2000 Cruising in Crisis? Travel and Tourism Analyst 5. Piore, M., and C. Sabel 1984 The Second Industrial Divide. New York: Basic Books. Poon,A. 1993 Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. Ritzer, G. 1993 The McDonaldization of Society:An Investigation into the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life. Newbury Park: Pine Forge Press Sletvold, O. 1997 Hurtigruta—en moderne tradisjon (The Norwegian Coastal Express—a modern tradition). In Turisme, Fenomen og næring (Tourism, Phenomenon, and Business), J. K. S. Jacobsen and A. Viken, eds. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Urry, J. 1990 The Tourist Gaze. London: Sage. 2001 Sociology Beyond Societies. London: Routledge. Ward, D. 2004 Ocean Cruising & Cruise Ships 2004. London: Berlitz.

106

P. Å. Nilsson

Weaver,A 2005 The McDonaldization Thesis and Cruise Tourism.Annals of Tourism Research 32(2).

Suggest Documents