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Cruise Curious: New data reveals massive appetite for cruising in 2024


One in four Australians will go on a cruise this year, according to new research from the  Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Australia, with figures more than tripling since last year. 

A national survey of 2,000 Australians, conducted by Pure Profile, reveals the percentage of Australians surveyed who plan to cruise in 2024 has risen from 7% to 26% in the past 12  months, despite cost-of-living pressures.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said it’s welcome news for the tourism industry, with cruise ships increasing tourism spending onshore. 

The data comes as Icon of the Seas arrives in Miami

 

“Cruises offer great value for money, which Australians care about now more than ever.  Combined with all the exciting new experiences available in Australia’s cruise sector, that’s  why we’re seeing cruising take off,” Osmond said.

“We need government to work with industry to further support the cruise sector, to make  sure the increased appetite for cruise holidays can be met and to help boost the economy.”

Millennials and Gen Z passengers are driving the increased demand, with 35% of  Australians under 35 planning to cruise this year, versus 18% of over 65s.

More than a quarter of Australians are also ‘cruise curious’, meaning they have never been  on a cruise before but are now considering it. The most ‘cruise curious’ Australians are those  under age 35, and residents in the Northern Territory, followed by New South Wales.

“Any misconception cruises are only for retirees and families is outdated. This year, more  young Australians will enjoy a cruise catered to their preferences. From Michelin-star  restaurants and yoga, to tattoo parlours, free Wi-Fi and other services for remote workers, there’s something for everyone,” she said. 

North Queensland topped the list of most popular Australian cruise destinations for 2024,  followed by Tasmania and Sydney, while South Australia’s Kangaroo Island also scored  highly.

“It’s a great result for North Queensland tourism operators, who lost revenue from the  devastating floods and cyclone over the Christmas and New Year Period. The region is well  and truly open for business and still the most appealing destination for cruise holidays,” Ms  Osmond said.   

New Zealand is the most popular overseas cruise destination for 2024, followed closely by  Europe and the South Pacific, including Fiji and Vanuatu. 

 

TOURISM & TRANSPORT FORUM (TTF) - 2024 CRUISE SURVEY:

1. WILL YOU GO ON A CRUISE IN 2024? 

Yes = 26% | No = 74%, including: 

  • Yes, going on a cruise within Australia - 13% 
  • Yes, going on a cruise overseas – 13% 
  • Not planning to go on a cruise – 74% 

35% of under 35s are planning to go on a cruise this year, compared with 18% of over 65s.

2. ARE YOU 'CRUISE CURIOUS' (SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER CRUISE BEFORE BUT IS NOW CONSIDERING IT)? 

Yes = 26% | No = 74%, including: 

  • Yes, and I'm interested in a cruise within Australia - 14% 
  • Yes, and I'm interested in a cruise overseas - 12% 
  • No, I have cruised before - 32% 
  • No, I'm not considering going on a cruise - 43% 

NT residents are the most 'cruise curious' (39%), followed by 28% of NSW residents, 25% of VIC residents and 25% of QLD residents. 

3. WHICH AUSTRALIAN CRUISE DESTINATION IS MOST APPEALING TO YOU THIS YEAR? 

  1. North Queensland - 25% (including Cairns 9%, Port Douglas 8% and Airlie Beach 8%) 
  2. Tasmania - 17% 
  3. Sydney - 12% 
  4. Western Australia - 10% 
  5. Kangaroo Island, South Australia - 7% 
  6. Melbourne - 6% 
  7. Darwin - 4% | Brisbane - 4% 

4. WHICH OVERSEAS CRUISE DESTINATION IS MOST APPEALING TO YOU THIS YEAR? 

  1. New Zealand - 23% 
  2. Europe - 21% 
  3. Fiji, Vanuatu or elsewhere in the South Pacific - 20% 
  4. Japan - 7% 
  5. Canada - 6% 

*Due to rounding, the sum of percentages may not equal 100%.

 

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Published: 15 January 2024

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