There’s a good chance you’re aware of the burgeoning growth of cruise holidays among Australian travellers. But you mightn’t know what that popularity looks like in real terms, and how it has pushed Australia into the lead in at least one very important cruise statistic.
According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s new Cruise Industry Source Market Report, the Australian cruise market grew by 4.4% in 2017, meaning almost 6% of the entire Australian population (or one in every 18 people) took a cruise holiday last year.
But perhaps most importantly, the report shows that Australia remains the only market in the world to surpass a 4% population penetration rate.
With some 1.34 million Aussies taking a cruise in 2017, CLIA Australasia managing director Joel Katz said cruising had now become “the quintessential modern Australian holiday”.
And whilst that’s a big call, it’s backed by the fact that the 4.4% growth cruising experienced last year was more than two and a half times higher than the rate of Australia’s inbound holiday arrivals growth rate of 1.7%.
“This growth rate puts Australia on par with the world’s largest cruise market, the USA, which experienced growth of 4.7 per cent, and was well ahead of more established cruise markets such as Europe (up 2.5 percent), and the UK and Ireland (up 0.5 per cent),” Mr Katz said.
“The best way to future-proof cruise tourism in Australia is to resolve infrastructure constraints and ensure the right regulatory settings to allow more cruising to Australian ports. As long as we can solve the lack of cruise infrastructure development in Sydney and across the region, we’ll see further increases in passenger numbers.”
Mr Katz predicted that as the industry grew, more cruise lines would base themselves down under “and the number of homeports and itineraries will only grow”.
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