Cruise Lines International Association predicted that more than 25.3 million people would take the cruise vacation in 2017. The upswing in the number of tourists will be supported by the addition of 26 new vessels on oceans and rivers. The new itineraries with personalised customer experience will add to the tourists’ volume. The cruise industry continues to respond to desires of today’s travellers resulting in steady growth and strong economic impact around the world, said CLIA’s president and CEO, Cindy D’Aoust in a statement. The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook.
The cruise industry reached US $117 billion in 2015 in terms of worldwide spending. Putting into perspective, this is almost equal to 956,597 full-time employees earned $38 billion last year. The year before (2014), 939,232 employees earned $39.3 billion and the total economic impact for the industry was $119.9 billion.
According to the experts, if geopolitical events in Europe remain at bay, the 2017 summer season abroad still has the opportunity to be successful. What will make it risky is the economic slowdown, geopolitical events and the strengthening of the dollar.
MSC Cruises president Roberto Fusaro said that there is a growing interest in Northern Europe along with the Emirates region as new cities outside the Caribbean region.
CLIA identified the top three trends to watch for in 2017:
- Increased popularity of cruising by millennials and generation X travellers
- Increased use of travel agents
- Increased demand for river cruising
Travellers now are valuing vacation experiences more than ever and are taking time to spend truly meaningful vacation down time with family and friends.