A major marketing organisation for 21 cruise ship companies, Cruise Lines International Association, have earmarked 2007 as a year for formidable growth in this particular line of tourism. Indeed, 12.62 million passengers are set to sail this year, a 500.000 increase on last year. 10.6 million passengers are expected to be from North America although regions such as thew Aegean and Indean Ocean have been targeted for improvement as well.
After a relatively turbulent 2006, due to erratic fuel prices and the weakness of the Carribbean market, sensible marketing and new ships have firmly increased the chances of the cruise ship industry of making serious profits this year. The luxury passenger has been the focus of attention. Cruise ships have been presented to business class travellers as great value.
The busiest time of the year in this industry is said to be between January and March, indeed the time when advertising campaigns are at full flow and companies try to attract as many customers as possible. There has been extra emphasis placed on the fact that customers can obtain discounts in the case of booking early. This is an increasingly important factor as cruise ship companies are beginning to have the whole year booked up well in advance.
Further advertising ploys include allowing children to sail free when accompanied by their parents, cruise giveaways, giving people credits for future discounts and very cheap upgrades from economy class to business class. Such marketing campaigns have so far proven to be very successful as more and more holiday makers are taking to ther seas. The industry has further been boosted by the introduction of 12 more cruise ships, providing a further 22.039 beds. The cruise ship industry clearly believes it has a huge future in the world of tourism.