The comment comes from Gavin Smith, Australasian chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), on the release of a report that shows Australian cruise passenger numbers soared by 20 per cent in 2013.
According to the Association’s Cruise Industry Source Market report, a record 833,348 Australians – that’s almost 4 per cent of the population – took a cruise last year.
australiancruisingnews.com notes that this is more than double the growth of any other major cruise market.
Australia now has a larger number of cruisers per head of population than the world’s largest cruise passenger market, North America where 3 per cent of the population took a cruise in 2013.
The CLIA’s Gavin Smith says Australia is a relatively young cruise market, yet the number of Australians taking a cruise has grown by an enviable 20 per cent a year for the past 11 years.
Key findings of the Cruise Industry Source Market report for Australia include:
♦ The South Pacific continues to dominate as a cruise destination, with almost 80,000 more Australians cruising the region in 2013, taking the total number to more than 330,000 (40 per cent of the Australian market)
♦ River cruising numbers leapt 25 per cent as almost 50,000 Australians took to inland waterways around the world.
♦ Asian cruising is on the rise with passenger numbers up 28 per cent to a record 44,000.
♦ The number of Australians cruising to New Zealand has reached almost 100,000
♦ Europe continues to be a favourite overseas destination for Australian cruisers with numbers surging by 34 per cent to more than 77,000 Australian cruisers, with Mediterranean ports the strongest drawcard.