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Global Cruise Passenger Volume to Exceed 2019 Levels by 2023, Says CLIA

Global cruise passenger volume is expected to recover and surpass 2019 (pre-Covid-19) levels by the end of 2023, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says in its latest industry outlook report.

Released on Friday, the association’s 2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report shows how cruise travel has continued to resume responsibly with proven Covid-19 protocols leading the way, also charting the industry’s progress towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Projected global cruise passenger volume

According to CLIA’s baseline forecast, 2022 will be a pivotal transition year for the cruise industry and passenger volume is expected to recover and surpass 2019 levels by the end of 2023.

In the upside forecast, passenger volume is expected to recover to 101 percent of 2019 levels a year earlier, by the end of 2022.

In all three scenarios, passenger volume is projected to recover in excess of 12 percent above 2019 levels by the end of 2026.

“CLIA ocean-going cruise lines have welcomed more than six million guests onboard since resuming operations in July 2020,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA.

Industry-leading protocols are facilitating the resumption of cruise travel around the world, also putting people back to work and reinvigorating local and national economies.

According to the report, more than 75 percent of ocean-going member capacity has returned to service with nearly 100 percent projected to be in operation by August 2022.

Source: 2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA

When compared to 2019, the 2020 economic data illustrates the pandemic’s far-reaching effects on the wider cruise community and underscores the importance of cruise tourism to economies around the world:

• 5.8 million passenger embarkations (-81 percent)
• 576,000 cruise-supported jobs (-51 percent)
• 63.4 billion dollars total economic contribution (-59 percent.)

Meanwhile, cruise tourists and the money they spend create jobs and opportunities for local communities around the world:

– Every 24 cruisers creates one full-equivalent job.
– Cruisers spend an average of 750 dollars per passenger in port cities over the course of a typical seven-day cruise.
– Six in 10 people who have taken a cruise say that they have returned to a destination that they first visited via cruise ship.

Source: 2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA

Collaboration with destinations is key

Continued collaboration with local communities also remains a critical focus for the cruise industry, the report says, citing the examples of international cruise destinations such as Dubrovnik in Croatia; Corfu and Heraklion in Greece; and the City of Palma in the Balearic Islands.

“The return of cruise travel in Greece is a welcome boost to the more than 11,000 people employed in the Greek sector including those whose livelihoods depend upon the industry and work in travel agencies, hotels, tour guides, and port operators,” CLIA Europe Director General Marie-Caroline Laurent said.

More highlights from the report

By 2027, the CLIA ocean-going cruise line member fleet will reflect significant advancements in the cruise industry’s pursuit of a cleaner, more efficient future:

• 26 LNG-powered cruise ships
• 81 percent of global capacity fitted with advanced wastewater treatment systems
• 174 cruise ships with shoreside power connectivity.

2022 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook, CLIA

In addition, CLIA ocean-going member cruise lines are projected to debut 16 new cruise ships in 2022, including five LNG-powered vessels and nine expedition ships.

The class of 2022 will be 100 percent equipped with advanced wastewater treatment systems.

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