Cruise travel last year beat projections, according to new data released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Cruise travel reached 24.7 million cruise passengers globally in 2016, CLIA reports, up from a projection of 24.2 million. CLIA is also forecasting a strong year of growth for 2017, with cruise passengers projected to reach 25.8 million.
“One of the many reasons that the cruise industry continues to thrive is because of the personalization it is able to offer to its guests from around the world,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA, in a written release. “Never before have I been a part of or seen an industry that is so good at listening and reacting to what its customers want, and this is why we are going to see our industry continue to grow.”
Top Cruise Destinations in 2016
Caribbean (35 percent)
Mediterranean (18.3 percent)
Europe w/o Med (11.1 percent)
Asia (9.2 percent)
Australia/New Zealand/Pacific (6.1 percent)
Alaska (4.2 percent)
South America (2.5 percent)
Much of the industry’s growth can be attributed to the continuing development of the Asian market, CLIA said, with ocean capacity rising to 9.2 percent in 2016, a 38 percent increase from 2015. The increased capacity in the region, combined with travelers in this region going on shorter, and more frequent cruises, has kept this marketplace at the top of emerging markets within the cruise industry.
New Cruise Ships
Globally, the 2016 CLIA fleet was comprised of 458 ships and welcomed nine new ocean ships and 17 new river vessels for a total of 26 new ships. These new ships represent an additional 28,000 passenger capacity.
(Source: Travel Agent 23 May 2017)