Some 25.3 million people among them younger generations, including Millennials and Generation X, are expected to take a cruise in 2017, up from 15.8 million a decade ago, according to the annual Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) report released on Tuesday.
Investment in cruise travel is also set to increase according CLIA’s 2017 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, which predicts the top cruise travel trends expected to impact the industry in the year ahead.
According to the report, more ships are set to hit the seas in 2017 with a scheduled debut of 26 new ocean, river and specialty ships valued at 6.8 billion dollars. As of 2017, the industry is expected to introduce a total of 97 new cruise ships totalling an estimated investment of 53 billion dollars through 2026.
“The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook,” CLIA global President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust said.
“From technological advancements and deployment of new ships to new ports and destinations around the world, the industry continues to respond to desires of today’s travelers resulting in steady growth and strong economic impact around the world.”
The report also found that travel agents will continue to be the go-to person with a large portion of cruise passengers reporting high levels of satisfaction when assisted by an agent.
Meanwhile, the demand for river cruises is rising with CLIA members currently deploying 184 river cruise ships and 13 new river cruise ships on order for 2017. At the same time, more cruise lines are introducing private island destinations, travelers are taking more interest in specialty dining with celebrity chefs joining the cruise teams and companies are now adding adventure travel to the agenda, including the popular Antarctica itineraries.
Cruise industry expenditures generated 117 billion dollars in total output worldwide, supporting 956,597 full-time jobs in 2015. CLIA is the world’s largest cruise industry trade association.