The latest industry figures reveal a record 833,348 Australians took a cruise last year, soaring 20 per cent , more than double the growth rate of any other major cruise market.
With the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of the Australian population taking a cruise in 2013, Australia has become the first nation to ever achieve a stronger penetration rate than the world’s largest passenger source market, North America. In 2013, the equivalent of 3.3 per cent of the North American population took a cruise.
Announcing the the 2013 Cruise Industry Source Market Report findings, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith said Australia was “punching well above its weight” in the international cruise industry.
“Australia is still a relatively young cruise market, yet the number of Australians taking a cruise has grown by an enviable average 20 per cent a year for the last 11 years as a growing number of travellers discover the many joys of cruising,” Mr Smith said.
“That’s a remarkable achievement, particularly when you consider we’re now leading the world in market penetration. With more ships being deployed in Australia in 2014 and 2015, we’ve set course for continued growth over the next few years, so the benchmark of one million annual cruise passengers should be reached by 2016, if not before.”
Mr Smith said the continuing growth of the local cruise industry meant it was playing an increasingly important economic role in many Australian cities and towns, delivering valuable tourist dollars.
Key findings of the 2013 CLIA Australasia Cruise Industry Source Market Report also showed that the South Pacific continues to dominate as a cruise destination, with almost 80,000 more Australians cruising the region in 2013. River cruising numbers leapt 25 per cent as almost 50,000 Australians took to inland waterways; Asian cruising is on the rise again with passenger numbers up 28 per cent to a record 44,382 as cruise ship capacity starts to expand; and the number of Australians cruising to New Zealand has almost reached 100,000.
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