The two market leaders in ocean cruising and corporate sustainability

Peter Jones*, David Hillier, Daphne Comfort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a commentary on the sustainability reports published by the two market leaders in ocean cruising industry. 

Design/methodology/approach: The paper begins with short reviews of the growing interest in the commitment to corporate sustainability and of the growth and market structure of the ocean cruising industry by way of setting the context for the commentary. This commentary is based on a review of the most recent sustainability reports published by the two leading ocean cruising companies which account for almost 75 per cent of total industry revenues. 

Findings: The findings of the paper reveal that the two major ocean cruising companies, namely, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises, published extensive sustainability reports covering a wide range of environmental, social, economic and governance issues. The other leading ocean cruising companies posted limited information on their approach to sustainability on their corporate websites and some posted no information on sustainability. However, the authors suggest that given that the two major cruising companies account for 70 per cent of ocean cruising passengers, the industry compares favourably in its sustainability reporting with other players in the hospitality industry and the service sector. That said, the authors also suggest that approaches to sustainability within the cruising industry, which are based on continuing growth, present testing management challenges for the leading cruising companies. 

Originality/value: The paper provides an accessible commentary on current approaches to sustainability in the ocean cruising industry, and as such, it will interest professionals working in the cruise industry and more generally in the hospitality industry as well as academics and students interested in hospitality management and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-306
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Assurance
  • Communities
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Environment
  • Materiality
  • Ocean cruising industry


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