The cruise ship industry is on the rise on a global scale and new markets are starting up all over. The media, however, tend to focus on the negative aspects of the industry.
In 2010, 15 million passengers took a holiday on a cruise ship, 11.1 million of which came from North America. The figures suggest that the industry is as massive as its ships and, again like its ships, is growing in size.
The days of the absolute exclusivity of cruise ship clientele are disappearing and many people are able to afford to board a cruise ship. This has led to 12 new ships being built and making their debuts in 2010, with a passenger capacity of up to 5300. The boom is expected to continue into the 2020’s thanks to demographics favoring the industry.
The second quarter of 2012 is set to see Singapore launch the necessary amount of ships to double its capacity. The upturn in the cruise industry is certainly not limited to Europe and North America. However, does the media focus on the positive news for these giants of the oceans and the huge financial backing behind them? The answer is, unfortunately, generally negative.
Recent events off the coast of Tuscany may have caused a dent in the hull of the Costa Concordia but not in the industry itself. Despite intense media attention being focused on the 114.500-ton wreck, the figures representing an increase in cruise travel on the whole are very unlikely to be affected.
Similarly, concerns about the environment and its protection are unlikely to stop people stepping aboard. Australian cruise tourism for instance has largely been unaffected by measures to protect the Great Barrier Reef and its status as a Heritage Site.