An estimated 25.3 million passengers are expected to sail in 2017 — up 15.8 million from 10 years ago — according to the Cruise Lines International Association (Clia).
The organisation’s 2017 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook predicts steady growth from 2016’s figures.
Clia reports that cruise lines are scheduled to debut 26 new ocean, river and ‘speciality’ ships in 2017 for a total investment of more than $6.8 billion in new vessels.
From 2017-2026, the industry is expected to introduce a total of 97 new cruise ships totalling an estimated investment of $53billion.
“The cruise industry is responding to global demand and we are highly encouraged by both the short-term and long-term outlook,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, Clia.
“From technological advancements and deployment of new ships to new ports and destinations around the world, the industry continues to respond to the desires of today’s travellers resulting in steady growth and strong economic impact around the world.”
Cruise industry expenditures generated $117billion in total output worldwide, supporting 956,597 full-time equivalent employees who earned $38 billion in income in 2015.
Clia has also forecast the top eight cruise travel trends that will have the most impact on the cruise industry this year. These are:
1. New generation takes to the water
2. Travel agent use increases
3. River cruise demand increases
4. More private islands on cruise itineraries
5. New cruisers will take to the sea
6. Drivable port locations in favour
7. Lure of celeb chefs
8. Demand for expedition cruises