Gold­stein de­liv­ers ster­ling forecast

Travel Bulletin - - CRUISE REPORT -

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.

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