Goldstein delivers sterling forecast
FCLIA chairman Adam Goldstein kicked off Cruise3sixty in February with an upbeat address on the future of cruising ahead of the record 23 million cruise passengers expected to set sail this year. Addressing around 500 agents and industry representatives at The Star in Sydney, Goldstein leaned heavily on the latest CLIA State of the Industry report which penned 2014 as the most successful year in cruising history. Released late last year, the report showed that global cruise passengers increased from 17.8 million in 2009 to 22.1 million in 2014, with further growth forecast for 2015. Noting that Australia had seen a $3.2 billion economic boost from the cruise sector, Goldstein dubbed growth in the market as “incredibly exciting”, with the sector now delivering 14,000 full time jobs in Australia and $940 million in wages. “Business is growing amazingly in Australia… I’m incredibly gratified that Australia is taking such a leading role in cruising,” he said. “We never would have expected that the Asia and Australasia sector of cruising is now the fastest growing sector with 12% of cruise capacity by 2015.” Goldstein was the first of many to make reference to infrastructure shortfalls during the one-day conference, claiming that Australia had some way to go to deliver appropriate infrastructure for the burgeoning market. “The future is bright though we need more infrastructure in order to realise the full benefits of what the future can do,” he said. He also made special mention of the trade, noting that agents have embraced cruising with over 70% of cruisers now using a travel agent to plan and book their cruise holidays.
“There is a lot going on in our industry, but nothing is more encouraging than how agents tailor their business model for cruising,” he said, stressing that travel agents were set to become more influential as options for consumers continues to grow. “It’s too bewildering for consumers to get through all of the information available, and they need you [agents] to make sense of it all,” he said. CLIA member lines now reach 490 destinations globally, but Goldstein was confident of breaking the 500 mark in the near future. “There is now an endless array of ships to choose from and this is happening because people love to cruise, and they love to cruise in every nation,” he claimed.