Real experiences in unique waters
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- Kina 
This thesis presents the findings from a research done on behalf of Hurtigruten ASA on the Chinese cruise market. The aim of the research was to explore and understand the characteristics of the Chinese market for explorer cruises, and suggest improved marketing strategy for Hurtigruten. The company is today established through a Representative Office, selling their products through travel agents. The tourism industry in China is relatively young, just during the last ten years one has seen a development towards travel for leisure and outbound tourism. The market is still immature and cruise tourism is still at an infant stage. Due to little prior knowledge on the topic at hand, a qualitative research perspective was adopted. We conducted interviews with representatives of Hurtigruten both in China and Norway, as well as the agents distributing Hurtigruten’s products in China. To further broaden our level of insight, we also conducted interviews with several qualified people within the tourism industry. In order to reach the research aim several objectives were developed on how the situation is for Hurtigruten in the Chinese market, who their customers are, what the cruise market look like, and the possible needs for any product adaption in order to be more suited for Chinese preferences. Our findings show that there is currently limited competition for Hurtigruten in the Chinese market for explorer cruises. We could only identify two cruise lines operating within the same niche as Hurtigruten. Their customers are young, well educated, experienced travelers with high incomes. They are status oriented, though many within this segment have little prior knowledge of cruises. The research further showed potential for Hurtigruten within the B2B segments. Hurtigruten also faces some challenges in the Chinese market, especially in regards to the agents booking systems and the demand for more product adaption and more employees.