AUSTRALIANS CRUISING AROUND
I’M PROBABLY not the only one whose eyes glaze over at the word report. Too often reports are dull and tedious documents, offering very little excitement to the reader. Fortunately that’s not the case for CLIA Australasia’s Australian source market report. The annual report looks at how many Australians are cruising around the world, where, when and for how long they are cruising and then compares our place against other major source markets. It plays an important role in creating awareness and interest in cruising which is good for all of us. Interest leads to demand, demand leads to more ships being deployed to the region, which means more choice. And with a well-educated chain of travel consultants, cruise passengers can be sure their needs will be met. And it’s a great read! This time last year we reported that the Australian market had cracked one million passengers for the first time which is an achievement that was delivered many years earlier than we once thought possible. Whilst this was an impressive result, the total included both ocean and river cruise passengers. Our 2015 source market report was published on May 26 and this year we have kept the focus on ocean cruise passenger numbers only, with a view to releasing a more detailed stand-alone river cruise report at a later date. The good news is that we can report that we have once again broken through the one million passenger mark - however this time we recorded 1,058,781 ocean cruise passengers - without any river cruising numbers. In achieving one million ocean cruise passengers last year, the Australian market experienced a growth rate of 14.6 per cent which is the equivalent of 4.5 per cent of the Australian population taking a cruise - the highest market penetration rate ever achieved by a major cruise region. We often talk about cruise ships being a destination in their own right. So it’s interesting to note that if you compare the number of Australians travelling on a cruise last year with Australia’s short term departure statistics, you find that cruising attracted almost as many Australians as Indonesia. Of course cruising is both an international and a domestic tourism destination, but it’s interesting to see how the numbers compare. Our Kiwi cousins also recorded double digit growth with 66,152 New Zealanders taking an ocean cruise, representing 10% growth, albeit from a relatively small base. Cruise passengers from all over the world now exceed 23 million, with Australia ranked fourth (equal with China) in terms of actual market size behind the USA, Germany and the United Kingdom. If you’d like to find out more, head to our website www.cruising.org.au to download a copy of our new 2015 report.
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