By Damian Perry, Managing Director APAC, Hurtigruten
At Hurtigruten, we take pride in our leadership role on sustainability, science and education. We continue to campaign to ban Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and we continue to challenge ourselves and the industry to go beyond the status quo in the cruise sector to become a more sustainable model in touch with consumer sentiment.
As the industry recalibrates from the COVID pause, we must recognize that there is no ceiling on the opportunity to innovate and reengineer in the pursuit of rebuilding a long term consumer-friendly industry.
Our alternative is a “do nothing – wait and see” approach that would see our industry slowly euthanised by lack of action, with the steady disregard for sustainability, safety and consumer support. This would put travel companies more out of touch with reality by the minute and make alternative consumer choices easier than ever.
Unfortunately while we continue to ride the political roller coaster of federal and local governments, the public seek solutions direct from us. Sadly though, many companies having lost the battle to build consumer confidence which makes it harder for the wider group of customer-centric companies to build trust.
We must learn and share how to navigate 2021 and 2022. With a promised vaccine around the corner, the conversation is changing rapidly at a consumer level and genuine commitments to new business are again flowing.
At Hurtigruten we manage these daily obstacles presented to us across multiple source markets with our agile business model. Our strategies continue to be based on a customer-first mantra with a circular process of Build/Measure/Learn = expand or retract.
This process has allowed us to clearly understand the critical concerns for the travel industry and the consumer.
The traveller wants security. The industry need product simplicity with strong revenue opportunities.
To deliver for the traveller Hurtigruten deployed new terms and conditions with a booking with confidence option that allows change of mind booking conditions.
For trade we expanded our product to the largest selection of Hurtigruten-inclusive Nordic tours, and the widest range across the market of flight-inclusive Antarctica options. No exclusions – no catches! Each package is all inclusive, simple to manage and rewards the seller with full commission.
Our innovation was actually simplicity.
We rounded this development off with the launch of our Hurtigruten agent portal that allows online bookings, file management, training and marketing assets as well as webinars and updates on a daily basis.
To navigate 2020 and 2021 with innovation didn’t need to be complex. So what are you doing to navigate out of the COVID slump?