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Evening of lectures along the Rhine

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Since the turn of the millennium, the cruise industry has been experiencing strong growth. But what brought on this new development, and what are the challenges involved? These and other questions were discussed during an evening of lectures on the subject of cruise tourism, which took place on April 4, 2017. The event was organized by the Cologne Business School as part of the “Kölner Wissenschaftsrunde” (Cologne Economics Panel), the theme this year being “Alles im Fluss. Lebensader Wasser” (A state of flux. Water is the lifeline). What made the evening special was that the lectures took place on a Rhine River cruise. To start off, the some 35 attendees enjoyed the sun and the views along the Rhine from the MS RheinCargo, where flying buffet was served. Afterwards, four lectures provided participants insight into the industry of oceanic cruises, also allowing guests the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with experts.

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Presentations by a range of company representatives elucidated the development of cruise tourism in recent years and projected how the industry might look in the future. Christina Hutton of TUI Cruises gave a comprehensive insight into cruise tourism and highlighted why cruises – as opposed to packaged vacations – have shown a strong growth in recent years.

How do I go about finding the right cruise for myself? To answer this question, Oliver Wulf of the travel website, urlaubsexperte.de gave an informative lecture. Looking back on the last 20 years of cruise tourism, he laid out the industry’s comprehensive and complex product offer. Afterwards he spoke about the criteria for making selections as well as distribution channels, which can facilitate the search for the perfect cruise. Judith Römhild-Raviart looked at the cruise industry and its tourists from a rather critical perspective. The PhD student at the University of Brighton gave thought as to how everyone could behave in a more socially acceptable way in order to curb the known negative effects of cruises. But not only were the past and present states of oceanic cruises considered – Arno Hoyer of the travel agency, Phoenix Reisen (Phoenix Tours) also took a look into the future: How will the industry and travel cruises develop in the coming years? To do so, he presented possible trends and future perspectives.

Following the presentations, all were available for questions and discussion. Comments from the audience were debated and solutions offered.

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