Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 8 8 INTERV IEW Flexibility, perseverance and partnership. These are some of the words that have become key brand values for CMI Leisure Management as it resumes operations. As a provider of hotel management services to cruise operators, the organisation was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic but overcoming the associated challenges has bolstered its ability to adapt, says Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO of CMI Leisure Management. “We really entered unknown territory with the pandemic,” he says. “When you look at the maritime industry, we were forced to become pioneers of new business avenues and partnerships during such challenging times. It was a total reset, so we had to be openminded and appreciate the collaborative relationships we had.” Communication was also a key part of CMI Leisure Management’s strategy for success, particularly with its clients and stakeholders. “You need the support of your whole team and we have been very lucky,” says Wertanzl. “Our shareholders have been incredibly generous, providing a loan programme for our crew while they were out of work.” Practices like these are helping CMI Leisure Management define itself as a truly sustainable business, but the company is implementing initiatives in addition to those that ensure its survival and that of its employees’ livelihoods. Among these is the firm’s ‘Save the Waves’ programme, which aims to reduce ocean pollution by minimising the chemicals released from CMI Leisure Management’s operations and the laundry done onboard. “It can use approximately 15 litres of water for every set of towels, so we are encouraging our guests to hang up clean but wet towels, and only leave out dirty ones to be washed,” says Wertanzl. “Our laundry detergents are also Finding the balance Dietmar Wertanzl of CMI Leisure Management tells Elly Yates-Roberts about the opportunities and challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic and the cruise industry’s focus on sustainability CMI Leisure Management has committed to several sustainable initiatives to protect precious landscapes such as the sea ice in Antarctica Photo: Aurora Expeditions