Changing travel patterns catalyst for new sales strategies
As far fewer overseas ferry passengers are coming to Europe, new sales and marketing strategies seek to expand and stabilise the customer base.
What do you do when you no longer can expect to welcome 150,000 Asian and other overseas passengers on your ferry route? This is the challenge Richard Stone and his team are seeking to overcome on Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen as Covid-19 and rising geopolitical risks have upended travel markets. Dramatic changes in lead times have made forecasting more unpredictable.
Customers must navigate through a bewildering array of different travel rules and restrictions across our many international markets. The return of passengers will likely come in stages and not in a way we can easily foresee.
New commercial and operational strategies were required to stabilise and broaden the route’s customer base. A major initiative was to take over the ‘short leg’ between Frederikshavn and Oslo in 2020 to expand access to freight markets, Danish ski travellers, and continental guests travelling to Norway.
Onboard offerings must increasingly create compelling reasons to go. This requires continual product improvements, such as a new Northern Lights wine bar concept and a substantial onboard event program designed to bring people to the route for a specific reason other than the journey itself. More than 70 events are planned for 2023.
Opening hours for outlets onboard are now more flexible based on the daily passenger mix. A new agile manning module has been introduced to manage costs and customer service levels.
We are targeting more industry sectors for business conference segment and upgrading online engagement with companies, networks and associations to create a larger pool of potential future clients. All in all, the route is adapting to the new normal of travel markets.
Follow Richard and colleagues as they adapt sales strategies to replace the missing overseas passengers.
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10% Discount to shareholders
DFDS shareholders are entitled to 10% discount on our two passenger routes: Copenhagen-Oslo and Amsterdam-Newcastle. The discount covers all types of cabins and all restaurants on board.