Exploring Cruises: Key market trends and issues in the cruise industry
Cruises can take place at sea, along rivers, or in lakes and can last from a few hours to many months. There will be 272 Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Member cruise shops in operation in 2019 with 18 new member ships to debut this year. Hamdan Bin Mohammed terminal in Dubai is the biggest cruise ship terminal in the world and received more than 2.3 million tourists between 2014 and the end of 2018, suggesting that the Middle East is an up-and-coming destination.
Cruises bring in an influx of tourists to multiple destinations every day, meaning that local businesses near ports can benefit too. Bars, restaurants, excursion companies, taxis and souvenir stalls are all likely to benefit as each cruise ship docks. Cruise operators, of course, reap the largest benefits from the industry. Passengers pay thousands of pounds for a holiday on the most luxurious ships and although food and drink is often included, cruise companies can make additional profits from excursions, spas, and casinos.
Hotels and other types of accommodation providers may be hostile towards cruise ships but as a high proportion of cruise passenger’s return to destinations visited on cruises, they may benefit later down the line. Cruises are particularly important for countries where the economy relies heavily on tourism. Direct benefits include port fees, water, and fuel charges, as well as the local excursion sales.
An estimated 30 million travelers are expected to cruise in 2019, up 6% from 28.2 million in 2018. The CLIA estimates that the industry makes a positive impact on global communities by sustaining over 1.1 million jobs and creating a total output of $134bn. Some countries are actively trying to increase the number of cruise visitors. The New Zealand Tourism 2025 plan, for example, recognizes the importance of the cruise ship industry for the future of the country’s travel and tourism industry and Tourism New Zealand wants to encourage more cruises.
The cruise industry is hugely consolidated with Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean dominating, along with their relevant subsidiaries. These companies, along with Norwegian Cruise line control at almost 79.6% of the cruise industry in terms of passengers and 72.2% in terms of revenue. Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages is set to debut in 2020 and is likely to become a disruptor in the cruise ship industry should the plan succeed. The adult-only brand hopes to attract millennials and Gen Zs as these generations become more abundant in the workforce and make up a higher proportion of potential holidaymakers
Tourism Insights Report Exploring Cruises: Key market trends and issues in the cruise industry, looks at the key trends & issues within the cruises industry, as well as the opportunities and threats. It also offers an insight into key destinations, traveler groups, and into the strategies of the leading companies.
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