CruiseThe CLIA reveals that consumers, both new and repeated, are now craving for cruises more than 2019.

Demand for cruise holidays swells beyond pre-pandemic levels

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Travellers are now starting to view the cruise industry as the leading travel sector in responsible tourism.
Travellers are now starting to view the cruise industry as the leading travel sector in responsible tourism. Photo Credit: Adobe/aapsky

There’s a greater passion for cruising now than ever before, as Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed in a survey that gauged the responses of 4,000 domestic and international travellers.

According to the survey, there is an overwhelming demand among UK cruisers than three years ago:
• 85% of respondents who have cruised previously have intentions to embark on cruise sailing again, a 6% increase from 2019
• 90% of respondents who have just recently taken a cruise in the last six months said they intend to cruise again
• Of travellers who have never cruised, 66% are open to cruising, a 0.5% increase from 2019

This presents an opportunity for travel agents to fuel business growth by tapping on this growing market of UK cruisers and selling more fly-cruise packages, be it to the Mediterranean or the Asian seas.

CLIA additionally found that 69% of international cruise holidaymakers stayed at least one night in their local destination prior to embarkation, with 43% extending the stay by two or more nights. And 67% stayed at least one night after disembarkation, with 34% extending by two or more nights. Some 60% said they later returned to a destination they had first visited by cruise.

By and large, the findings above indicate that not only can cruising drive tourism recovery to the destinations the ships call at, but it can also bring economic benefits to these areas.

More international travellers are also viewing the cruise industry as a leader in responsible travel as cruise lines continue to further their sustainability agendas in pursuit of net-zero carbon cruising by 2050. That percentage of international travellers who applaud the cruise sector for its efforts in sustainability reached 51%, a 9% increase over the past year.

“This year has been enormously encouraging for cruise, and it’s heartening to see demand for a holiday at sea is set to continue,” Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland managing director, said. “The sheer number of repeat passengers we’re anticipating, combined with interest from those yet to sail, means the appeal of going on a cruise remains as strong as ever.”

“The economic advantages passengers bring to the destinations they visit is also clear, meaning local businesses - from taxis, to restaurants to hotels - benefit accordingly. And we’re delighted to see the raft of sustainability initiatives we have in place, including our 2050 net-zero carbon goal, were recognised.”

_The sentiment data is based on an independent, international survey of 4,000 holidaymakers in eight countries: UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, US, Canada and Australia.

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