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Example research essay topic: Nova Scotia Cruise Ships - 2,258 words

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Cruise Ship Industry Before we proceed to our discussion of cruise ship industry I believe we should first submerge in the notion of tourism in order to see the very model of peoples motivation, which makes them join cruises. Mac Cannell, in The Tourist (1999), portrayed the tourist as being on a pilgrimage, a search for authenticity. To define "authentic, " Mac Cannell drew upon the distinction made by the sociologist Erving Goffman between the "front" and "back" regions of social establishments. The front is the place where hosts and guests, performers and audience, or service persons and customers, meet one another; the back is where members of the home team retire between performances to relax and prepare. The back region, as we all know, allows concealment of props and activities that might discredit the performance out front.

In a literal sense it creates a staged performance situation, the terms "front" and "back" describe actual ways in which the social roles are enacted. This search for authenticity by the tourist is seen as a compensatory process as tourists seek to recreate structures, authentic lifestyles that modernity has smashed. What Mac Cannell called "staged authenticity", a way of fooling the observers can, and usually does, take place within the tourism industry: the people being toured understand the tourists desire to see real life, and obligingly manufacture false "back regions" to satisfy it. In contrast to Mac Cannell, who believes that tourists desire authenticity, Feifer (Urry, 1990) argues that tourists understand that it is impossible to have an authentic tourist experience and in fact enjoy inauthentic activities. Urry discusses Feifer's theory on "playfulness." Play, she argues is a main feature of postmodernism and has been incorporated into numerous activities.

Play has allowed for a de-differentiation between work and leisure. We enjoy "playing" roles in society. This would suggest that Goffman's theory on public representation is another game we play. We act out many roles in life and when we go on holidays, we enjoy acting the part of the tourist. We know that we are being treated as such. We realize that there is a front stage and back stage and that neither are authentic but we enjoy it all the same and will be fulfilled because we played a part in the spectacle.

Some authors like Cohen (1988) reject this idea of tourism being a mass deception of staged authenticity as mentioned by Mac Cannell. Cohen as cited in Theobald (1998: 412) has noted that the work on authenticity made three assumptions: that tourism leads to exploitative culture commodification; which destroys authenticity by staging it; which hinders the tourists genuine desire for authentic experience, however, Cohen did not agree with this assumption. The notion of authenticity is a modern value according to Cohen; whose emergence is related to the impact of modernity upon the unity of social existence such as the emergence of individualism, all of which leads to search of the real thing. He has said that authenticity is a socially constructed concept, the meaning of which is not given, but negotiable to the subject.

In 1977, a television production company, Aaron Spelling Productions, had an idea that a luxury cruise ship would be an ideal setting for a television series. The idea became a reality and "The "Love Boat" was born. The series continued in production for over ten years and is still in syndication all over the world (web lbp 2. htm). "The Love Boat" popularized the idea of cruising. Before the series aired cruises were thought to be only for the rich and famous. Now the industry was beginning revolutionize.

The industry realized there was a need for change and now cruises are being enjoyed worldwide by people of all ages and social classes. Over the last few decades cruises have also adapted to accommodate the ever-changing cruising population. Cruises now range from theme cruises including jazz, singles vacations and holiday cruises. Also, with the health awareness in the market place, many cruise ships now include fitness programs, special meals, lap pools and state of the art gyms (Vladimir, D. 1997). One of the biggest changes in the cruise industry is the amount of families taking cruises.

In the past, it was rare to see children on cruises. It is for that reason that cruise lines have had to adapt their packages to include younger children; one of the best examples of this is the Disney Cruise line. Disney delivers a cruise vacation with a lot to offer. On a Disney cruise, you can see three new original Broadway-style shows and you can also experience a different dining experience every night.

There are oversized rooms that are perfect for families with children and even separate activity areas for kids, teens, and adults. Disney cruises even make a stop at their own private island in the Bahamas, where you can have your own private beach party, snorkel or enjoy other water activities (web). The cruise industry is an ever-growing industry. The Cruise Lines International Association estimates that approximately 5. 2 million people took a cruise somewhere in the world in 1988. (web).

The cruise industry has experienced strong growth over the last two decades and the majority of the growth has been in the North American market. In 1988, cruises embarking from North American ports comprised the majority of the worlds cruise markets both in terms of revenue and passengers. Passengers embarking in North America made up 61 % of the worlds total cruise passengers and 67 % of the worldwide cruise industry revenue (EPGC, 1990). The North American cruise industry is over a $ 7 billion business that carries almost 5 million passengers annually and directly employs approximately 50, 000 people. It is projected that by the end of the year 2000, as many as 8 million passengers per year will cruise. Cruising has become the fastest growing segment of the vacation business for the last decade; beating land based resorts, theme parks, and other attractions.

Studies show that whether people are first time cruise users or repeat users, the majority of them rate cruising as better than any other vacation experience and ninety percent of them expect to take more cruises in the future (Vladimir, 1997). Of the North American growth, a large percentage has been from the growth in Nova Scotia, especially Halifax. One of the main reasons why Halifax has seen so many more cruise ships is because the port of Halifax is an ideal port of call for cruise ships. Halifax's convenient location on the Great Circle Route between Europe and North America provides easy access to cruise ships whether the cruises are on North American East Coast routing's or transatlantic routes.

Halifax harbor also has a deep draft with minimal tidal variations, which allows for easy passage of large cruise ships (web). In 1999, 73 cruise ships called at Halifax Port Authority facilities. This is up from 53 cruise ship calls in 1998 and represents an increase of 38 %. Compared to 33 cruise ships and 15, 800 passengers in 1988. A Port record was set again this year for the most number of cruise line passengers in Halifax, cruise vessels brought 107, 837 passengers to our port in the 2000 cruise season. This is a staggering 125 % increase over the 1998 cruise season when the record was set at 47, 798 passengers (web).

One of the reasons why people in the cruise ship industry believe that North America is experiencing such an increase in the number of people taking cruises is the change in the demographic profile of the North American population. The increasing percentage of the population that are middle aged and older will expand the potential cruise market. The cruising market tends to be single people or couples, people without children, and well educated. Table 2 Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Cruise Ship Passengers Sex Male 53 % Female 47 % Children in household Yes 23 % No 77 % Age 25 - 39 28 % 40 - 59 28 % 60 or over 44 % Household size 1 to 2 63 % 3 to 4 29 % 5 or more 8 % Average (2. 6) Education High School 28 % Some College or more 72 % Source: Cruise Lines International Association (web) This market profile fits well with the existing visitors to Nova Scotia who tend to be middle aged and older couples, well educated in professional and management positions. There is even potential for more growth in cruise ship industry. In 1988 there were 120 cruise ships that serviced North America.

These ships ran from the large budget cruises to the small economic cruises allowing people a large range of cruises to choose from. Studies show that satisfaction from cruise ships is high. This satisfaction leads to repeat business. Today the cruise industry can count on between 60 % and 90 % repeat business from their existing passengers (Vladimir, D. 1997).

The cruise ship industry is very good for North America, especially in Halifax. In 1988, the average benefit per cruise ship passenger visiting the Atlantic Coast is $ 150. 67. This is made up of $ 48. 12 in vessel related expenditures, such as port charges and $ 102. 55 in passenger related expenditures including air travel, tours and shopping. (EPGC, 1990) The cruise ships are excellent for the Nova Scotia economy and tourism in general. The revenue increased from the passengers who have stopovers in Halifax is what keeps a lot of local businesses afloat. Local business owners, especially those located on the waterfront, look forward to the cruise ship season. Many business owners recognize a noticeable difference in their business when there is a cruise ship docked in the harbor.

Cruise ships mean increases in business for local restaurants, shops, and tours. The cruise season was longer this year; it began on May 5 and ended October 30. More than 114, 000 cruise ship passengers visited in this time period. According to the Halifax Port Authority, a total of 15 cruise lines docked 75 boatloads of tourists in Halifax this year, up from 53 the previous year. This growing number of ships increased direct passenger spending in Halifax from $ 3. 3 million in 1998 to an expected $ 7 million this year. (Ryan, C. 1999) The cruise industry is one of the fastest growing industries in Nova Scotia tourism. For that reason, the Halifax Port Authority is doing all they can to attract more cruise lines to come to Halifax.

The Halifax Port Authority, in conjunction with other local interests, manages a cruise ship welcome program that encourages passengers to disembark the ship for the day and gives visitors a positive East Coast experience. Under this program, passengers arriving at the Port of Halifax receive a traditional Nova Scotian greeting that involves the Town Crier, pipers, drummers, and highland dancers performing on the brow as ship lines are fastened. After disembarking, a local tourism representative is available to greet passengers and they can also visit the Community Kiosk to receive directions, gather information, or pick up brochures and can shop at the waterfront shops and boutiques (web). The Halifax Port Authority has done a lot in the last few years to encourage cruise ships to visit Halifax. The Port Authorities have improved pedestrian and vehicle access at ocean terminals. Also in 1999, the Port of Halifax spent a million dollars renovating Pier 21 to better accommodate the passengers and crews of visiting cruise ships.

The newly renovated Pier 21 offers 23, 000 square feet of interior space, public washrooms and telephones, and an area large enough to hold 40 buses (web). It is obvious that the cruise ship phenomenon has hit Nova Scotia, and it looks like it's here to stay. The cruise ship industry is great for our province; it helps our economy but it also introduces people from away to the beauty we have to offer here which indirectly can have an impact on our province's economy. Many people that get a quick glimpse at what Nova Scotia has to offer will return to visit again, probably not by cruise ship, but in such a way that they will have more time to relax and explore our wonderful province. Over the past few years, the Halifax Port Authority and Tourism Nova Scotia have been working hard developing marketing strategies that will attract cruise ships to Halifax.

These strategies must be working because the growth of the industry is vibrant with increases in cruise ships and passengers coming to Halifax. The industry can and will grow in this region in the coming years it is inevitable. Bibliography: Ryan, C. 1999. Halifax's popularity as cruise ship destination continues to increase. web The Economic Planning Group of Canada (EPGC) 1990. Summary of product and market research for cruise ships: Nova Scotia market match.

Vladimir, D. 1997. Selling the sea: an inside look at the cruise ship industry. John Wiley and Sons Inc. New York City, USA. "The Love Boat " Basics. web lbp 2. htm.

Boissevain, J. (1979) The Impact of tourism on a dependant island, Gozo, Malta, Annals of Tourism Research, 6, 76 - 90 Cohen, E. (1998) Authenticity and Commoditization In Tourism, Annals of Tourism Research, 15 (3), 371 - 386 Mac Cannell, D. (1999) The Tourist A New Theory of The Leisure Class, University of California Press Theobald, W. F. (1998) Global Tourism 2 nd Edition, Butterworth Heinemann Urry, J. (1990) The Tourist Gaze, Sage, London 2002 web web web


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Research essay sample on Nova Scotia Cruise Ships

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