There is growing demand and interest in cruising in markets around the world, according to Michael Bayley, senior vice president international, Royal Caribbean Cruises. “There is probably not one economically developed country that would not do well,” he said. “We offer a great product, wonderful hardware and a tremendous value proposition. The issue is more about prioritization and dedication of resources.” Bayley is overseeing the international growth and expansion of Royal Caribbean's three U.S.-based brands.

International sourcing and deployment is about expanding our opportunities, Bayley said, andgenerating revenues in different currencies in light of the weak dollar and the strong euro.

“We are deploying our assets in order to maximize our returns,” he said. “A large percentage of our revenues come from international source markets both in terms of tickets and onboard spending. It is just prudent to have our product across multiple markets.”

While the U.S. is the core market for Royal Caribbean, producing the vast majority of its passengers, the company is sourcing more passengers in Europe, Latin and South America and Asia.

In 2008, Royal Caribbean’s net growth comes outside the U.S., with its newest ship, the 3,600-passenger Independence of the Seas, dedicated almost exclusively to the UK for most of the year, according to Bayley.

Bayley explained that each market is multi-dimensional – dynamic and segmented, offering opportunities for many different kinds of propositions – both national and international. Hence, he is overseeing the Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara brands, while the parent company is also tapping some of the markets with its own national brands.

Excerpted from Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine: Summer 2008