Let’s Get Technical
Global Cruise Passenger Numbers Exceed Expectations
total of 28.5 million people took a cruise in 2018 – almost 7 percent more than in 2017. While the cruise sector represents 2 percent of the overall global travel industry, this segment is on pace with international tourism worldwide. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 6 percent in 2018, totaling 1.4 billion, while cruise travel grew at almost 7 percent during the same timing. CLIA’s research shows that North American travelers continue to embrace
16 SECOND QUARTER 2019 | TRAVEL & CRUISE
cruising, with an annual passenger increase of 9 percent in 2018 (14.2 million passengers). The latest insights reveal travel to the Caribbean islands is still in full swing, with 11.3 million cruise passengers traveling there in 2018. Other growing North American destinations include the Hawaii and North Atlantic Coast region, Mexico, California and the Pacific, which increased 4 percent in 2018, totaling 1.3 million cruise passengers. Statistics further show that passengers are preferring shorter cruises and more adventurous destinations, especially Alaska.
Mediterranean cruises grew in popularity by an impressive 8 percent, totaling more than 4 million passengers worldwide. Of those, more than 700,000 passengers came from North America, up by 29 percent from the previous year. “I am proud to be a part of this dynamic industry that continues to grow and evolve making international travel accessible for travelers worldwide,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, CLIA. “The cruise industry has once again raised the bar and exceeded projections and expectations as travelers are embracing cruise travel more than ever before.”