Theodore Slate - Apr 15, 2024
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CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead highlighted that the cruise industry is recovering faster than international tourism and is a significant contributor to the development of local and national economies.

Craighead explained that despite the cruise industry having only 70% of the passenger volume of 2019 in 2022, its economic impact in 2022 reached 90%, amounting to €128,510 million. She also highlighted that the industry still has scope for responsible growth, as cruise tourists make up only 2% of total travelers.

According to CLIA's forecast for 2023, the industry's economic impact is expected to be even more significant as passenger volume is projected to increase by 50% compared to 2022. Looking further ahead to 2028, the association representing shipping companies estimates that the capacity will grow by 10% compared to 2024. Additionally, shipping companies are taking concrete steps towards achieving net emissions by 2050.

New Cruising Trends

According to the latest report by CLIA, the number of first-time cruise passengers is on the rise. In the last two years, 27% of cruise tourists have been first-time cruise passengers, 12% higher than in the past. The report also reveals that more than 30% of families traveling by cruise consist of members from at least two generations, and 28% of travelers do so with companions from three to five generations.

The report highlights that expedition cruises are the fastest-growing segment in the industry, with a 71% increase in the number of passengers expected between 2019 and 2023. In addition, accessible excursions are on the rise, with 45% of cruise tourists booking one of these experiences.

According to the 'Cruise Industry Outlook 2024,' 73% of cruise tourists rely on their regular travel agents, significantly influencing their decision to make their trip.

Craighead mentioned that going on a cruise offers the best value for a vacation. Almost 300,000 crew members work on cruise ships, ensuring passengers have a fantastic experience. The industry will have more job opportunities with the introduction of at least 56 new ships from 2024 to 2028. Currently, the industry has an 80% retention rate.

CLIA has released a report called 'An Ocean of Opportunities,' which focuses on labor issues. The report provides essential information, such as that 94% of women working in maritime transport work in the cruise industry. It also states that women hold about 40% of management positions in shipping companies. Additionally, the report emphasizes that "green skills will be key now and in the future."

Highlights of 'Cruise Industry Outlook 2024'

An estimated 35.7 million people will enjoy a cruise in 2024.

Millennials are 6% more likely to intend to travel on a cruise in 2024 compared to 2019.

Global cruise capacity is expected to increase from 677,000 double beds to 745,000 by 2028.

Cruise companies invest in new propulsion technologies and innovations that advance sustainability annually.

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