For the first time, Favendo was attending Seatrade, the world’s largest get-together for the cruise industry. CEO Arnaud Becuwe shares his impressions.
?: Mr Becuwe, what is Seatrade anyway?
AB: Seatrade Cruise Global is the world’s largest industry gathering for the cruise industry and took place in Miami from April 9th to 11th. In fact, it is not a traditional fair, but a get-together for decision-makers. The focus is less on impressive booths than on evening networking events.
?: Who meets there?
AB: As I said, there are decision-makers from all sectors of the cruise industry. In addition to all the major cruise operators, representatives of the ports and, of course, technology and service providers like Favendo meet there.
?: What are you taking from this get-together?
AB: Miami is the heart of the cruise industry. Many major operators have their headquarters there. For sure it is a very inspiring place and provides a suitable setting for the numerous evening events. We did have many very interesting and promising discussions and were able to initiate new partnerships on site, which is not something that can be taken for granted. In addition, it’s always very good to get to know each other personally in a business where a lot works remote. In general, the cruise industry is a growth industry. Everyone is very optimistic and there is no end in sight for the cruise boom. The trend is towards ever larger ships with over 200,000 gross register tons. Not only in my opinion Location Solutions are a must-have on the new ships, which of course also makes me feel positive. The Guest Experience will be the linchpin of every new project. An unproblematic orientation on the massive new ships is just as much a part of it as safety features for children and older or handicapped travellers.
?: What makes you particularly optimistic?
AB: We’ve seen a lot of Real Time Location Solution (RTLS) providers, but no one who can offer their services on-premises. Favendo can do just that. This technical capability is a clear Favendo USP as cloud-based solutions are not suitable for offshore use. We also have a lot of experience installing ble infrastructures in really challenging physical environments and there is hardly a more challenging environment than the steel hulls of these giant ships. Miami was a very direct feedback for us in which areas we need to develop further. For Favendo, the cruise industry holds great challenges and even greater opportunities, which we hope to finalise in the near future.
?: Can you be more specific?
AB: At this point I cannot and do not want to, yet another learning is that the industry is very, very discreet when it comes to which technology suppliers are involved. On the other hand, you only have to check which operator, for example, offers navigation on their ships to see where our main focus lies.