Carnival Cruise Lines: Exploring a Sea of Global Opportunity
Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the most successful cruise lines in the world. They have taken an industry that once only catered to the elite and turned it into a possibility for people of varying economic means all over the world. In their quest to provide a service with mass appeal, Carnival has become the very definition of international business.
The cruise line industry has seen a substantial amount of growth in the last fifty years. Several global forces have contributed to this growth. There are two types of global forces: controllable and uncontrollable (Ball, Geringer, Minor, & McNett, 2010). Uncontrollable forces, also known as external forces, are forces over which an organizations management has no direct control, but it can exert an influence. There are approximately eleven uncontrollable forces: competitive, distributive, economic, socioeconomic, financial, legal, physical, political, socio-cultural, labor, and technological (Ball, Geringer, Minor, & McNett, 2010). Contrastingly, controllable forces are those internal forces that management administers to adapt to changes in the uncontrollable forces (Ball, Geringer, Minor, & McNett, 2010). Nearly all of the uncontrollable forces listed have contributed to the growth of the cruise line industry. Political forces intertwined with socio-cultural forces have been vital to the growth of the cruise line industry (Montalvo, 2007). Due to pre-9/11 terrorist activities, cruise ships have become one of the safest ways to travel abroad. This enhanced security has eased the fears of passengers regarding foreign travel. Additionally to allay fears, the cruise industry has established themselves in more and more ports which diminish the amount of travel a passenger must undergo in order to board a cruise liner. The cruise industry has also researched previous popular destination spots and deleted some from their ports of calls due to increased crime or political upheaval which could potentially place their passengers in harmful scenarios. Technological and distributive factors are also a huge component in cruise line industry growth (Montalvo, 2007). With all of the advancements in the internet, booking a cruise is easier than ever before. With the growing number of travel sites, potential customers can book their trip, flights, and excursions with ease. Additionally, passengers today still have access to their lives while on the cruises. There is no breakdown in communication availability like there is on airplanes or when travelling on land in foreign countries. Technology is also used to help the cruise industry make determinations on route changes due to environmental hazards such as hurricanes. Other uncontrollable forces affecting the cruise line industry are economic and socioeconomic (Ball, Geringer, Minor, & McNett, 2010). Due to their various destinations, cruise lines are able to offer their passengers the best of all worlds. By dedicating nights to the exploration of specific cultures through food, music, and art, cruise lines are blurring the trade lines while appealing to a wide variety of cultures. Economic forces also come into play concerning the acquisition of ocean liners. Whenever cruise ships are commissioned to be built, the country that makes the most advantageous bid for the job brings much needed jobs and revenue to the country. Due to the international status of the cruise lines, many are able to take advantage of the trade barrier reductions and more lax foreign investment policies (Ball, Geringer, Minor, & McNett, 2010). Their special status allows them to be headquartered in the United States and provide services to mostly American ports while enjoying the tax breaks of being a registered company in a foreign country. This special status directly intertwines with several other uncontrollable forces: legal, labor, and financial. By being registered as...
References: Ball, D. A., Geringer, J. M., Minor, M. S., & McNett, J. M. (2010). International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
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