Tuesday, December 8, 2015

CLIA: 24 Million Cruise Passengers in 2016

By Mark Edward Nero

Nearly 24 million cruise passengers are expected to sail in 2016, an increase from the estimated 23 million people who took a cruise in 2015 and the 22.1 million passengers of 2014, according to a report released Dec. 1 by the Cruise Lines International Association.

The number of projected passengers is a significant jump from the 15 million passengers 10 years prior, according to CLIA’s 2016 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook.

According to the outlook, CLIA member cruise lines are scheduled to debut 27 new ocean, river and specialty ships in 2016, for a total investment of more than $6.5 billion in new ocean vessels alone. Travel agents are also experiencing a higher demand for cruise travel, according to the outlook. Eight out of ten CLIA member travel agents said they’re expecting a sales increase in 2016 over this year.

“In an effort to make cruising the best overall vacation experience available, the industry is continuing to evolve,” Acting CLIA CEO Cindy D’Aoust said in a prepared statement. “By creating unique ships, new experiences and access to destinations around the world, the evolution, appeal and value of cruise travel continues to drive the overall growth of the industry.”

Cruise industry expenditures generated nearly $120 billion in total output worldwide last year, supporting 939,232 full-time equivalent employees who earned $39.3 billion in income in 2014, according to CLIA.

Among the current trends cited in the outlook are the growing popularity of river cruises; a 34 percent annual passenger volume growth rate in Asia; and an increase in overnight stays at ports of call.
More information on the outlook can be found at http://www.cruising.org/docs/default-source/press-room-research/clia_sotci_infog_2016.pdf