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Coleman (2003) analyse the effect on prices of mergers in cruise industry.The information set out is extensive, so this research can be considered a reference for pricing strategies in this sector.In recent years there has been an increasing number of academic papers about the cruise industry.
Qualitative research, such as observation (Yarnal and Kerstetter, 2005) and the Delphi method (Dawson , 2015).
Obviously, data from secondary sources and websites is also used increasingly often (Lee and Brezina, 2016).
Rodrigue and Notteboom (2013) insist that the cruise industry sells itineraries – ports of call – not destinations, which is much more complex in terms of commercial potential and operational developments.
The aim of this paper is to identify features and characteristics that affect the price of a cruise using the hedonic pricing methodology.
The final price paid by a cruise passenger includes boarding fees and tips, which, although they are officially voluntary, after often charged automatically.
Although tips are a small part of the cost of a cruise, they must be considered as part of the overall cost of the holiday.This study adapts some of the further research suggested for Ji and Mazzarella (2007) and Sun, Jiao and Tian (2011).This paper offers a new approach in the academic literature of the cruise industry in two respects.Lynn and Kwortnik (2015) concluded that tipping policies can affect customer satisfaction and that guests gave more positive ratings when tips were voluntary, although this may differ depending on the customer segment.Sometimes the itinerary includes some excursions, which makes it more difficult to compare strategies.Most are related to business and management (39 per cent) and economics (17 per cent).Cusano (2017) analyse 103 publications from 2008 until early 2016 from the point of view of ports and cruise infrastructure and the developments made and new needs as a result of the increase in the market and the size of new ships.The analysis of more than 150 articles related to cruising allow us to conclude that those including empirical research are based mainly on surveys and questionnaires, despite their disadvantages (Papathanassis, 2012) and the fact that they can have different results depending on the mood of consumers when they evaluate a cruise experience (Sirakaya , 2004).Most of them are also local in scope, making it difficult to extrapolate conclusions (Hung and Petrick, 2011a).The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect on price of different cruise industry characteristics from the point of view of actual prices.The analysis is carried out from the supply side but taking into account the real prices paid by customers. To develop this research, a database of more than 36,000 prices paid by cruise passengers and different characteristics of ships in 2013 was built.