Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2014

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brands, is unquestionably the largest player. Being the largest, he con- cedes, offers many great opportunities. "In a year or two we will have 80+ million passenger cruise days in a year. That's 80 million days of people going to places, touching places. So yes, there's an economic multiplier in all that, but it can be way bigger than that. And how we go about our work, how we devel- op ports, how we engage the local communities, the local people, whether its domestically like in Baltimore and New Orleans, or whether it's in places like the Dominican Republic or Haiti, or whether it's in Vietnam or China, the impact that we can have on the everyday quality of life for people who have never set foot on a cruise ship in their entire life is huge. And so there are opportunities everywhere." Likewis e, being the largest also brings with it some unique chal- lenges, he insists. "If we build a new ship, that's one ship out of 100-ship fleet. So we'll grow 1%. If we build two new ships, we'll grow 2%. We can't build 10 ships in a year because they're not enough shipyards to build them. So we can't grow by just building ships. We also sail full. We have a little bit of occupancy on some of the b rands. But in the main, we sail full. So we can't put more people on the ship either." So what's Donald's strategy for growing revenue? More onboard spending and pre- and post-cruise spending is the way to go, he argues. Higher ticket prices also drive increased rev- enue. "We are the greatest vacation value there is by far," claims Arnold. "So we have lots of room to price up and still be the greatest vacation value there is." Put into perspective, with 80 million passenger cruise days a year, a dollar a day more added onto the cruse ticket price translates into $80 million plus. Ten dollars a day more is $800 million to the bot- tom line. "That's more than the other cruise companies make," says Donald. "So for us it's all about creating demand in order to get the ticket price up. And that's why the media is so important," he emphasizes. Donald also explains that by more coordination and cooperation between Carnival's brands, they can leverage their collective buying power for huge savings. "There's a tremendous opportunity on the efficiency side, and a humongous one on the revenue side, for coordinating and collaborating as long as the brands communicate across the 10 brands. So there're big opportunities for best practices." Every brand, for example, has its own revenue model and management model. Just by examining those 10 models together, each of them will see something the other brand is doing better than they're 37 B M & T ••• September/October 2014••• doing, Donald explains. "And if they adopt it across all of them, then we just raised a buck, two bucks, three bucks, five bucks, 10 bucks a day on just tick- et prices without anything changing. No change in demand, no change in anything, other than profits," he says. Onboard revenue spend, like identify- ing the best way to do photos or the best way to present entertainment can allow Carnival to a dopt best practices across all brands. When asked why there was a perception that African-Americans don't cruise, despite significant evidence to the contrary, Donald had this to say. "First of all I didn't know that was the perception. I find it quite surprising that that would be the case. I started cruising in the '70s, and when I went on cruses I saw other peo- ple that looked like me. So I have never had that impression at all. When Carnival started out, they always had really good participation from the African-American community. So it definitely continues to be a target for us. We want everybody on cruises, and that includes African-Americans, as well as their con- ferences and family reunions." Donald, who had served as a director of Carnival Corporation since 2001, and as a director of Carnival PLC since 2003, admits he had no idea what he was getting into when first approached about taking over as president and CEO. "It's way better than I imagined it would be. First of all the people in our business and in our company – I knew they were committed, I knew they were passionate, I knew all that. But not at the level that I experience every day. I could be on a ship with a cabin steward, or I could be with one of the brand CEOs, and the level of passion and commitment, total dedication and enthusiasm is just amazing. It is a blast. It is a total hoot. If you can't have fun in the business of making fun, you need your head examined," he promises. ARNOLD DONALD PRESIDENT & CEO, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE Carnival Princess Holland America Seabourn Cunard AIDA Costa Ibero Cruises P&O Cruise P&O Cruises Australia CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES BRANDS "We are the greatest vacation value there is by far,"

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