In recent years the cruise industry has expanded, with more people opting to embark on a cruising holiday than ever before. Between 2009 and 2014 the number of cruise passengers grew from 17.8 million to 22.1 million but latest figures reveal that 23 million people are set to cruise this year, marking a four per cent increase from 2014!
Of those who cruised between 2009 and 2014, 62 per cent were return cruisers, while 89 per cent said they were very satisfied with their cruise holiday.
What’s more, 84 per cent said they would recommend cruising to their friends and 69 per cent of cruise-goers deemed the experience as better value than traditional holidays on shore.
Speaking at the annual Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) State of the Cruise Industry press conference in New York, Adam Goldstein – CLIA chairman and president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean International – said that this year, the focus is less on creating larger ships and more on design and on-board services.
Speciality cruising, such as river, expedition and small-ship ocean cruising has become increasingly popular and is continuing to grow.
Research from CLIA reveals that river cruising is the fastest growing type of speciality sailing, with 25 per cent growth from 2009 to last year. On the other hand, niche cruising as a whole grew 21 per cent annually between 2009 and 2014.
The Caribbean is set to maintain its position as the top most popular sailing destination in 2015, with more than a third of the global cruise ship capacity visiting there. This is followed by the Mediterranean with 20 per cent, and Asia and Australia, both with six per cent.
During the conference the importance of travel agents was also stressed. Despite many people booking their cruise holiday direct, seven out of ten cruise passengers still plan and book their getaway through a travel agent.
Will you be one of the people embarking on a cruise this year?// END - About the Author ?>