IS CRUISING ALONG EUROPEAN RIVERS PRIMARILY INTENDED FOR SENIORS AND WORKERS FROM EASTERN EUROPE?
Authors: Irma Erdeji, Aleksandra Dragin
Abstract: The subject of the paper is river cruising along the rivers of Europe in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Italy. The research needed to determine the trends in terms of consumers and labour force, particularly considering great political and economic changes in Europe (and the world) in the last ten years. The aims of the research were set in relation to the following: to determine the profile of a tourist as well as the crew members. This paper is based on empirical and theoretical research. It combines quantitative primary and secondary as well as qualitative data collection (interview). Primary data was collected from the “Uniworld” company by analysing crew manifests in order to define the demographical profile of the employees. Secondary data collection was used to define the profile of the tourist, where latest relevant publications were consulted. Qualitative method was used to gain more insight in the latest trends of River Cruising by interweaving the managers of the “Uniworld” company. It was determined that “baby boomers” are no longer prevalent on the cruise ships, but the “millennials” cohort are on the rise. Such changes will require a new approach among the cruising companies – in terms of the concept of service delivery and marketing. However, among employees there is no significant change, suggesting that this type of job market is tightly regulated by EU regulations. This research offers valuable data in the field of tourism destination management, as well as the needs of some stakeholders, especially in terms of human resources management and management of strategic development issues. This is important both for the countries which already have positioned themselves on the cruising market as well as for emerging destinations.
Keywords: River cruising, labour force composition, economic impact, tourist profile, trends and challenges.
Article info: 115-123
Received: March 1, 2016 | Revised: April 12, 2017 | Accepted: May 27, 2017