Social media-worthy, wellness and achievement travel are set to be the top trends in cruise travel for 2019, with more than eight in 10 cruise travel agents expecting to see a rise in cruise sales in the next 12 months, findings from the 2019 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report released this week by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reveal.
According to CLIA experts, the cruise industry is expected to grow by 6 percent in 2019, with an estimated 30 million travelers set to go on a cruise compared to 28.2 million in 2018.
To cater to the rising demand, a total of 272 CLIA-member cruise ships are scheduled to operate by June 2019, while the cruise industry accounted for 1.1 million jobs and 134 billion dollars in total output worldwide in 2017.
“The coming year’s trends truly reflect the intersection between the experiences travelers seek and the cruise industry’s innovations,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA president and CEO.
For 2019, the CLIA outlook forecasts the following trends to take hold in global cruise travel:
- Say it on Instagram: On one average day, CLIA notes, there can be nearly 351 million posts with the tag #travel. Thanks to onboard connectivity, cruise passengers can get the word out fast
- Laid back fun: All the more travelers are seeking ways to check out from hectic daily responsibilities and rejuvenate. Cruise companies are one step ahead offering wellness on board including everything from spa experiences and oxygen bars to healthy menu choices and fitness innovations
- It’s all about the goal and the experience: Vacationers are seeking immersive experiences beyond sightseeing, and cruise companies are now adding more culture, gastronomy and adventure to their roster of activities
- Smart technology on board: Everything from wearable tech necklaces to bracelets to provide personalized travel experiences on and off the ship
- Mindful travel: The cruise industry is looking to decrease its environmental footprint while working with local communities to preserve their heritage and bring benefits of tourism to local economies
- Off the beaten track: Whether it’s the Galapagos Islands or Antarctica, cruise travel is now taking restless travelers there
- Gen Z at Sea: Cruise firms are preparing to cater to the growing demands of Generation Z, set to become the largest consumer generation in the next two years
- Off-season travel: Cruise travel is now happening in colder months offering such unique experiences as voyages to see the Northern Lights, or penguin colon
- Business & pleasure: Cruise travel can now also cater to the need of the so-called “digital nomads”, who are opting for trips where they can work remotely cutting down on time off and lost wages
- Girls on cruise: More and more females are traveling, and more companies are now creating female-centered itineraries based on interests and aiming to connect women with other women
- Going it alone: As solo travel rises in popularity, cruising offers the ideal way to go solo without worrying about details and offering the chance to connect with other travelers.
The world’s largest cruise industry trade association, CLIA operates 15 offices globally, working to support policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 28 million passengers who cruise every year.