Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced the cruise industry has surpassed 2015 ocean cruise passenger projections and has increased passenger expectations for 2016 – a sign the industry is stronger than ever. CLIA unveiled the new insights at the 2016 Cruise360 Conference in Vancouver, the largest conference of the cruise industry.
The industry reported a total of 23.2 million passengers on ocean cruises globally in 2015, up from a projection of the 23 million, and a 4% increase over 2014. As a result of steady year-over-year increases, CLIA has modified 2016 expectations and is now predicting 24.2 million travellers will set sail on ocean cruises around the world.
“The success in 2015 demonstrates the cruise industry's continued strength in the overall travel sector," said Cindy D'Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “This is a direct result of the amazing work and commitment of our community of Cruise Lines, Executive Partners and Travel Agencies and Agents. Plus, with the highest satisfaction rates among all leisure travel segments, it reflects that a cruise holiday is the holiday of choice for travellers around the world.”
Much of the industry’s growth can be attributed to emerging regions of the world. In 2015, Asia experienced the most growth year-over-year in ocean cruise passengers with another impressive 24% increase* from 2014 to 2015, with a total of more than 2 million ocean cruise passengers in 2015. While Asia continues to see record growth in the cruise industry, Australia is not far behind. The region, which includes Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, experienced an incredible 14% increase in ocean cruise passengers from 2014 to 2015. Last year, a total of more than 1.1 million ocean cruise travellers originated in Australia.
When looking at the travel industry, cruise travel has astonishing long-term growth potential since it represents only two percent of the total leisure travel market, has the highest satisfaction rates among global travellers and is growing in popularity. In fact, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, in the decade between 2004 and 2014, global cruise holidays have grown faster in popularity than land-based holidays by a 20% margin.