The growing popularity of cruising among New Zealanders has been confirmed by new industry statistics that show more than 30,000 Kiwis took a cruise holiday last year.
The figures, compiled by the International Cruise Council Australasia, reveal an 11 per cent growth rate in New Zealanders enjoying ocean cruises, with numbers rising from 26,510 in 2006 to a record 29,316 in 2007.
The statistics also show 899 New Zealanders took a river cruise holiday in Europe during 2007, taking the total cruise passenger numbers for the year to 30,215.
Announcing the figures in Auckland today, Cruise Council General Manager Brett Jardine described the industry’s growth rate as very impressive.
“Cruising is booming around the world and we can see from these figures that New Zealand is no exception,” Mr Jardine said.
“As the number of cruise ship visits to New Zealand continues to increase and cruise ship deployments expand around the world, we believe even more New Zealanders will be tempted to discover the joys of cruising.”
Mr Jardine said the New Zealand statistics showed that cruises in Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific waters were the most popular, with 19,604 passengers – or 64.9 per cent of total New Zealand passenger numbers – choosing to sail in the region.
The second most popular destination was Europe, which attracted 3743 passengers – about 12 per cent of the market – as the number of cruise ships operating in the region continued to grow. The European river cruise segment, which was included in the New Zealand statistics for the first time this year, accounted for a further 3 per cent of the market.
Mr Jardine said the statistics also revealed a trend towards longer cruises. The proportion of passengers cruising for more than 15 days more than tripled to about 8 per cent of the market, while passengers taking shorter 5-7 day cruises fell from around 30 per cent to 20 per cent of overall numbers.
“This means that not only are more New Zealanders cruising, they’re also taking full advantage of the relaxing nature of a cruise and travelling for longer periods,” he said
The 2007 New Zealand Cruise Industry Statistics were compiled by InTouch Data Pty Ltd.
The International Cruise Council Australasia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996, committed to training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising. Look for the ICCA logo when considering your cruise holiday or visit www.cruising.org.nz to find your nearest ICCA accredited agent.