CruiseCruise tourism is projected to reach US$17.8 billion by 2033.

Hot and hotter: Cruise is travel’s fastest-growing segment

The cruise tourism industry is poised for significant growth, offering abundant opportunities for travel agents.
The cruise tourism industry is poised for significant growth, offering abundant opportunities for travel agents. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Kirk Fisher

Join us at CruiseWorld Asia 2023 on 7 November 2023 to unlock opportunities into the world’s fastest growing travel sector.


Cruise tourism is poised for immense growth in the coming decade, the fastest ever in the travel industry, according to Future Market Insights Inc. The cruise tourism market's value stood at a robust US$5.3 billion in 2022, with predictions indicating that it will surge to an impressive $17.8 billion by 2033, boasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.1% from 2023 to 2033.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the cruise industry had already established itself as a global powerhouse, hosting a staggering 29.7 billion passengers worldwide. This industry not only created jobs for approximately 1.8 billion people but also injected a substantial US$150 billion into the global economy.

Cruise tourism has emerged as the fastest-growing segment within the global travel industry, offering a diverse range of options to travellers.

What’s in store for cruise tourism

Future Market Insights' report reveals that the global demand for cruise tourism is on a steep ascent, with a projected CAGR of over 12% from 2023 to 2033. The market witnessed substantial growth from 2018 to 2022, with sales demonstrating a CAGR of 8.3% during this period.

This growth is attributed to several factors, including rising disposable incomes, continuous enhancements in cruise facilities and onboard offerings, and the introduction of innovative services and amenities. Modern cruise liners now offer in-room spa treatments, skydiving simulators, adventurous activities, water coasters, and more to attract tourists, thereby boosting footfall and revenue.

What’s driving the cruise growth

  1. Expanding cruise industry: The global cruise industry has witnessed significant growth, with numerous companies offering diverse amenities across a range of prices to attract travellers. In December 2022 alone, 239 ships entered commercial service, marking a substantial increase from the previous year.
  2. Demographic diversity: Cruise tours are increasingly popular across all age groups, offering a wide range of activities suitable for every demographic and every budget. New ships are launched with cutting-edge technologies and additional onboard entertainment to cater to a larger audience.
  3. Emerging market demand: Cruise tourism is gaining traction in emerging countries, presenting substantial opportunities for cruise service providers worldwide. To tap into these untapped markets in developing economies, cruise companies are expanding their presence and offering exclusive deals and discounts.

What’s up and coming for cruises

River cruises are expected to hold a significant market share in 2023, constituting over 35% of the market. River cruises offer passengers an opportunity to enjoy scenic landscapes along riverbanks, enhanced by various amenities such as river-facing staterooms, free WiFi, dining options, and more.

The cruise tourism sector holds a promising future, enjoying increased popularity across generations and ongoing expansion into new destinations. To explore business opportunities in this thriving market, register for CruiseWorld Asia 2023 here:

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