FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the cruise line industry continues to strengthen its global presence and with the economy in an ongoing recovery mode, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and its cruise line members are looking forward to a positive year of growth with a 2014 passenger forecast of 21.7 million worldwide guests on CLIA's 63 member lines, according to data released today in the association's annual State of the Cruise Industry findings. To meet demand, these member lines will introduce 24 new ships in 2014-2015 adding a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of approximately $8 billion in ocean going and river cruise categories.
"The global cruise industry is at an exciting juncture with strong consumer interest in cruising and significant cruise line investment in a diversity of exciting ships that travel to the most exotic locations in the world and offer one-of-a-kind vacation experiences," said Christine Duffy, CLIA President & CEO.
CLIA 2013 global passenger numbers are estimated at 21.3 million, with a 2014 forecast expected to reach 21.7 million passengers. North America is the world's biggest cruise market (55.1 percent passenger source share) – with significant growth of internationally sourced passengers – especially Europeans at 6.4 million.
Cruise Ship Deployment
The leading cruise destination in terms of ship deployments remains the Caribbean, accounting for 37.3 percent of all global itineraries followed by the Mediterranean (18.9%), Northern Europe (11.1%), Australia/New Zealand (5.9%), Alaska (4.5%), Asia (4.4%) and South America (3.3%).
In 2014, markets experiencing increased ship deployments include the Caribbean (+12%), Northern Europe (+5.2%), Asia (+31.6%) and Australasia at 22%.
Globally, the 2014 CLIA fleet is comprised of 410 ships, up from 393 ships last year, and includes a wide variety of vessels – from large- to mid-sized to small and intimate. The fleet covers all line categories: contemporary, premium, niche and destination focused, river cruises, expedition and adventure. Additionally, in 2014 and 2015, CLIA lines will introduce 24 new ships, representing a total capital investment of approximately $8 billion. Twelve new CLIA ships (Confirmed Orders and Options) for 2016 to 2018 represent an additional 33,192 passenger capacity and an investment estimated at $7.9 billion in ship development.
Travel Agent Initiatives and Outlook
CLIA's 13,500 global travel agency members who reach over 50,000 agents are the primary distribution channel for cruise sales. In 2014, CLIA's agent initiatives will include continuing the redesign of its agent educational curriculum and agent certification programs to ensure that both education and certification remain highly relevant for today's agents. In addition, CLIA will actively promote CLIA certification to consumers, reminding them of the benefits and importance of working with a certified CLIA professional.
Highlights of a December 2013 survey of 500 CLIA agents showed positive indicators and optimism for 2014 customer cruise interest and sales, including:
- More than 60 percent of survey respondents say their 2013 overall travel sales ranged from good (steadily improving over the recent past) to excellent (their best year ever)
- 92 percent anticipate that their overall business in 2014 will be good or better than 2013
- More than 70 percent expect their cruise sales to range from good to excellent in 2014
- 87.7% reported similar or increased new cruiser sales
Cruise Industry Trends
Top 2014 cruise trends identified by CLIA, its member lines and travel agents include:
- Improved technology to lower the cost of onboard communications and provide more efficient passenger servicing
- First-time passenger growth coming from younger generation travelers – especially Millennials
- More luxury cruising (luxury category ships, onboard upgrades) stimulated by an improving economy and increased consumer confidence
- Continued interest in multigenerational and celebration cruises as well as social/affinity group travel
- More all-inclusive options and packaging in accommodations, services and amenities
- Exotic locations driving new itinerary competition and cruise ship deployment
- Hot destinations for 2014: Trans Pacific, World Cruises, U.S. Rivers, South America, Antarctic, Middle East, Canada/New England, Africa and Exotic River
After its first successful year as a global association, CLIA, serving as the voice and advocate of the worldwide cruise industry, has increased its presence in Europe with additional associations established in German and Spain, with Italy to follow later in 2014. The primary objective of CLIA's global operation is 'One Industry, One Voice' approach to policy development, advocacy, communication, issues management and industry promotional activities.
New for 2014 is the formation of a CLIA Global Ports Committee comprised of itinerary planning and port development executives of the cruise lines and chaired by Giora Israel, Senior Vice President of Ports and Destination Development for Carnival Corporation. The committee will focus on creating opportunities to develop dialogue with port operators, port authorities, government and port-related service providers on issues of mutual interest.
Full details of the 2014 CLIA State of the Industry available at: http://bit.ly/1fCrztK
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines and travel agents before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members. CLIA's Associate Member and Executive Partner program includes the industry's leading providers of supplies and services that help cruise lines provide a safe, environmentally-friendly and enjoyable holiday vacation experience for millions of passengers every year. For more information on CLIA, the cruise industry, and CLIA-member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit www.cruising.org. CLIA can also be followed on the Cruise Lines International Association's Facebook and Twitter fan pages, and CEO Christine Duffy can be followed @CLIACEO and cruising.org/ceoblog.
CONTACT: Lani Gerlak
954 765-3636 x22
SOURCE Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA)