As the cruise line industry continues to strengthen its global presence and with the economy in an ongoing recovery mode, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members are looking forward to a positive year of growth with a 2014 passenger forecast of 21.7 million worldwide guests on CLIA’s 63 member lines, according to data released recently in the association’s annual State of the Cruise Industry findings.
To meet demand, these member lines will introduce 24 new ships in 2014-2015 adding a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of approximately $8 billion in ocean going and river cruise categories.
CLIA 2013 global passenger numbers are estimated at 21.3 million, with a 2014 forecast expected to reach 21.7 million passengers. North America is the world’s biggest cruise market (55.1 percent passenger source share) – with significant growth of internationally sourced passengers – especially Europeans at 6.4 million.
Cruise Ship Deployment
The leading cruise destination in terms of ship deployments remains the Caribbean, accounting for 37.3 percent of all global itineraries followed by the Mediterranean (18.9 percent), Northern Europe (11.1 percent), Australia/New Zealand (5.9 percent), Alaska (4.5 percent), Asia (4.4 percent) and South America 3.3 percent). In 2014, markets experiencing increased ship deployments include the Caribbean (+12 percent), Northern Europe (+5.2 percent), Asia (+31.6 percent) and Australasia at +22 percent.
Travel Agent Initiatives
A key factor in the cruise industry’s growth is its travel agent partners. CLIA’s global travel agency members amount to more than 13,500 global travel agency members who reach over 50,000 agent members.
Highlights of a December 2013 survey of 500 CLIA agents showed positive indicators and optimism for 2014 customer cruise interest and sales. More than 70 percent expect their cruise sales to range from good to excellent in 2014 and 92 percent anticipate that their overall business in 2014 will be good or better than 2013.
Cruise Industry Trends
Top 2014 cruise trends identified by CLIA, its member lines and travel agents include improved technology to lower the cost of onboard communications and provide more efficient passenger servicing; first-time passenger growth coming from younger generation travelers; more luxury cruising; and more all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities.
Hot destinations for 2014 according to CLIA cruise line members include: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic Rivers.