Cruise Britain estimates that cruise passenger numbers to the British Isles in 2018 will continue to show the strongest growth rate of any northern European market segment. With just over quarter of a million individual cruise passengers predicted to make day calls to British Isles ports by the end of the season, the growth rate since 2012 averages a 13.5% annual rise against a northern European average of 3.86%.
The forecast provided by GP Wild (Int) continues to be optimistic with day call cruise passengers potentially reaching 344,000 by 2020. Most of these individual passengers will step ashore at multiple ports and contribute to the tourism economies of many different regions. Strong regional growth can already be seen for several ports including Douglas (Isle of Man), Kirkwall (Orkney), Portland and Tyne.
‘’This strong predicted growth is excellent news for all British ports and service providers and really shows the draw of Britain as a cruise destination, ‘’ commented James Stangroom, Chair of Cruise Britain. ‘’All our members work incredibly hard to attract and support their cruise calls and it’s very encouraging to see our region growing so quickly. Overall, the British Isles offers enormously varied destinations within short sailing distances and the popularity of regional ports is increasing every year. More and more tourists are appreciating that a cruise is an ideal way of exploring the diversity of our shores, cities, attractions and activities.’’
‘’The cruise market is growing at exponential rate at the moment and it is excellent news that the British Isles are predicted to keep pace with this,’’ added Stangroom. ‘’Britain can offer a port for every cruise ship currently sailing and many can handle both day calls and embarkations which increases the opportunity to grow business.’’