No river cruise stats
The integration of the former International Cruise Council Australasia into the global CLIA organisation has brought with it many benefits – but some local members of the
organisation are likely to be very disappointed at one outcome of the merger, which has seen river cruise figures no longer collated as part of the much-anticipated annual CLIA statistics. The change is part of a globalisation of CLIA which wants to have its figures directly comparable across regions – but ignores the huge significance of the river cruise business in Australia. Last year’s CLIA figures reported that about 70,000 Australians travelled to Europe to undertake a river cruise – not far off the 100,000 or so who took a European ocean voyage. While river cruising on a global scale is only a small blip on the radar for the ocean cruise giants, clearly that is not the case in Australia where it enjoys a much more significant market share in terms of both passenger numbers and cruise spending. Omitting river cruising from the figures looks to be short-sighted, impacting the relevance of CLIA to some of its most supportive Australian cruise line members. CLIA says it hopes to release a “more detailed standalone river cruise report at a later date” – something that is sure to be keenly awaited by the whole industry.