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Friday,  May 24, 2024 3:46 AM 

Cruise lines seeing more new-to-cruise guests, agents have “meaningful influence”: CLIA

  • Cruises
  •   04-11-2024  1:36 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

Cruise lines seeing more new-to-cruise guests, agents have “meaningful influence”: CLIA
CLIA has released its annual State of the Cruise Industry report. (Shuttertstock/Zigres)
Pax Global Media

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released its annual State of the Cruise Industry report on Tuesday (April 8), along with a new publication, Oceans of Opportunities workforce skills report.

The report includes 2023 passenger volumes, which reached 31.7 million— surpassing 2019 by seven per cent. It also shows continued demand for cruise holidays, noting intent to cruise at 82 per cent.

The forecast for cruise capacity shows an increase of 10 per cent from 2024 through 2028, as cruise lines make ongoing progress in pursuit of net-zero emissions by 2050.

"Cruise continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most resilient sectors of tourism— rebounding faster than international tourist arrivals—and a strong contributor to local and national economies. In 2022, cruise tourism cruise generated 90 per cent of economic impact compared to 2019, despite passenger volumes that year at 70 per cent of 2019 levels. Over the past 50 years, cruise tourism has demonstrated its leadership in managed tourism and is an industry that has plenty of room for continued responsible growth given cruise travel comprises just 2% of overall travel and tourism," said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA, in a release. 

"The industry also continues to lead the way in environmental sustainability and destination stewardship, with cruise lines making advancements in technology, infrastructure and operations, and in green skills training for crew."

Study highlights 

According to CLIA's study. cruise tourism reached 107 per cent of 2019 levels in 2023, with 31.7 million passengers sailing – almost two million more than 2019.

As well, 2024 is forecast to see 35.7 cruise passengers sailing.

In North America specifically, 2023 saw 18.1 million cruise passengers, which is 17. 5 higher than 2019, the report says.

Intent to cruise is also six per cent higher than 2019, with millennials being the most enthusiastic cruise travellers of the future, CLIA says. 

Global cruise capacity is forecast to grow from 677K lower berths in 2024 to 745K lower berths in 2028.

Cruise trends

The number of new-to-cruise is increasing – 27 per cent of cruisers over the past two years are new-to-cruise, an increase of 12 per cent over the past year.

Cruises are a top choice for multi-generational travel – with more than 30 per cent of families traveling by cruise with at least two generations and 28 per cent of cruise travelers traveling with three to five generations.

Expedition and exploration are the fastest-growing sectors of cruise tourism, with a 71 per cent increase in passengers traveling on expedition itineraries from 2019 to 2023.

Accessible tour excursions are on the rise—with 45 per cent of cruise passengers booking an accessible tour for their most recent cruise.

Meanwhile, 73 per cent of cruise travellers say that travel advisors have a meaningful influence on their decision to cruise, the report says.

Oceans of Opportunities 

Highlights form CLIA's Oceans of Opportunities workforce report include:

In 2024, cruise lines will employ a multinational workforce of nearly 300,000 seafarers representing more than 150 countries, as well as tens of thousands of employees on land.

94 per cent of women seafarers work in the cruise industry.

Around 40 per cent of senior leadership roles at cruise companies are held by women.

Among current and future workforce needs are green skills.

To read CLIA's full State of the Cruise Industry report, click here.

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