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  • Stephan Busch

River Cruising! How to succeed now? How to make guest come back and feel safe again?

Marketing, Sales & PR needs operations more than ever

River cruising is a market that exploded in the last fifteen years. To a big part thanks a lot to Viking cruises were Thorstein Hagen provided free PR and Marketing for all companies to join in. But everybody found its niche market and most succeeded. Now times have changed.

Now - its time

Now - its time for River cruising companies to change. By themselves! Now! Not tomorrow.

We act now we will succeed – we don’t - we might as well - vanish. Now we will see the creative ones - the ones that can change. Develop and implement concepts that bring our guests back to the boat!

Our Marketing and PR people are waiting for operation to give them the Sales point

Discussing this issues we have some great ideas – some new - many not new but proven successful – but hardly known anymore to todays staff and management. Fast to implement (for those who know how) – not hard on investment – but profit margins will be not as high as before when the masses were fed. They will not be high anyway this year! But the masses are gone! For now! But who cares as long as we can make profit – offer higher quality – secure our market place long time - or – vanish! Lets make the guest happy! We will be happy!

Great ideas, and concepts

There are a lot of great ideas, concepts how to change now but looking at them we face a big problem. First – non of the companies are asking! They think it will continue like before? It won’t!

Then a self-made problem.

We lack qualified staff and even worse - qualified managers. All company went for masses – which proofed right in the last years – mass profit! But all neglected quality and making the difference. The markets and clients are different but the offering is the same. Food & Beverage – some differences according to budget – but in general the same. Housekeeping? The same all over the board – but here you could impress big time. Reception, concierge, excursions?All the same. Quality differences again only according to budget. Again like in F&B, HKSP you could make a big difference and impact.Design, lay out of all outlets? Change, adapt – now!HR was going for cheap only. The time has come to grill you!

To do this – change succesfully- I only know a few professionals who have the knowledge , the drive and the human skills to handle this. But that’s only me and they know for sure more.

Down the drain or up the river?

Will we become the Mareado, Vapiano of the rivers? Will we continue to be the Burger King, MacDonald’s - all the same going down the drain together? Or will we get creative and activate the ones that can do it? It will be interesting to see.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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