Around 22 million global passengers took a cruise in 2014, a rise of 68% from 13.1 million in 2004, according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The CLIA 2014 Economic Impact Analysis , which was conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors, shows that since 2013, demand for cruise holidays grew 3.4% from 21.3 million passengers.
The study also indicated that the cruise industry contributed a total of US$119.9 billion to the global economy in 2014, a rise from US$117 billion in 2013. Direct expenditures generated by cruise lines, passengers and crews totalled US$55.8 billion, while 939,232 full-time equivalent employees earned a total of US$39.3 billion in income.
“The cruise industry is truly a global and dynamic one,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA’s acting CEO. “We’ve enjoyed progressive growth over the past 30 years, driven initially by demand from North America, which expanded to Europe, Australia and now Asia. As a result, the cruise industry impacts the global economy generating jobs, income and business growth in all regions of the world.”
According to CLIA’s study, North Americans accounted for 55% of the global cruise industry’s 22 million passengers, while Europeans accounted for 29%. The remaining 16% were sourced from other regions of the world such as Australia, China, Singapore, Japan and South America.
Around 19.2 million of the 22 million cruise passengers (88%) were sourced from the top ten countries, which are located in all major global regions. While 11.21 million passengers came from the US, 3.38 million came from Germany and the UK (15%), while Australia, Italy and Canada each had more than 800,000 passengers (12%). China, France, Spain and Norway combined accounted for nearly two million passengers (10%).
“The potential for new cruise passenger growth is huge,” said D’Aoust. “Apart from North America and Europe, other regions of the world account for nearly 85% of the world’s population, yet represent only 16% of cruisers. That reflects a tremendous opportunity for the cruise industry.”
Meanwhile, CLIA’s 2014 Asia Cruise Trends Study showed that cruise tourism in Asia is growing at double-digit rates, both in capacity and as a passenger source market. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of ships deployed in Asia grew at a 10% compound annual growth rate, and the volume of cruises in the region increased by 11%. Passenger capacity also rose by 20%.
China is a main driver of passenger growth in Asia, adding 480,000 more cruise travellers since 2012 – a compound annual growth rate of nearly 80%. The country also accounted for nearly half of Asia’s total 1.4 million cruise passengers last year.
“Asia is a prime example of the cruise industry’s growth opportunity,” said D’Aoust. “Our industry is bringing more cruise ship visits to Asia and the volume of cruise passengers sourced from Asia for cruise tourism worldwide nearly doubled since 2012.”