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Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cruise market jumps 10%

Almost two million more people took a cruise holiday last year than in 2010, representing an increase in the global market of 10%.

Official figures show that the UK was the second largest cruise market in the world, behind North America.

The number of ocean cruisers topped 20m for the first time, according to figures compiled from industry associations including the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the European Cruise Council, Passenger Shipping Association, International Cruise Council Australasia and industry analysts G P Wild (International) Limited.

North America accounted for the highest number of cruisers, reaching 11.5m, while 6.2m Europeans - including more than 1.7m from the UK - took a cruise, which was an increase of 9% on the previous year.
Christine Duffy, CLIA president and CEO, said: "We are delighted to see 10% annual global growth in cruise passengers last year, with milestones being broken all over the world as growth continues. This is the first time that European figures have passed six million and the first time Australian cruise passengers have topped half a million.

 "The latest statistics clearly show that the cruise industry has proved resilient during difficult economic conditions and these results are a testament to the industry's ongoing innovation and investment. As we continually improve operations, and add new and exciting innovations and itineraries, we're confident our sector has huge potential for continued growth on a global basis."

William Gibbons, director of the Passenger Shipping Association, said: " British ocean cruise passengers exceeded 1.7 million for the first time in 2011 and are currently the second largest source of cruise passengers in the world. We're looking forward to that growth continuing as new ships come on stream to satisfy demand."

Countries including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France have seen cruise passengers increase by an average of seven per cent to 15% in the past five years.

Australia is a region of rapid growth, with cruise passengers increasing by 30% in the past year to exceed more than half a million for the first time. The International Cruise Council Australasia has predicted that there will be one million Australians who will take a cruise holiday in 2020.



by Linsey McNeill


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