Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that a record 6.6 million Europeans cruised in 2015, 200,000 more passengers than in the previous year, representing a 3 percent increase.
Since 2008, the European cruise market has grown by a staggering 49%, proving both the cruise industry’s resilience to economic downturns and the value provided by a cruise holiday. This amounts to a 6 percent average annual growth rate in the past seven years. In fact, according to industry research, over the ten years from 2004 to 2014, global cruise vacations have grown faster in popularity than global land-based vacations by a 20 percent margin.
Last week at Seatrade Cruise Global, in Fort Lauderdale (Florida, United States), Kerry Anastassiadis, CEO of Celestyal Cruises and member of CLIA Europe’s Executive Committee spoke about the findings.
“The figures released today confirm the great shape of Europe’s cruise industry,” said Anastassiadis. “Cruising is a fantastic holiday choice, and every year more and more people realize the great value and amazing experiences offered by a cruise holiday. This is helping us emerge as the most attractive holiday choice and being a young industry representing a small portion of overall holidays taken, our opportunities to grow in Europe and elsewhere in the world have virtually no limits.”
“While the cruise industry is ready to continue to expand in Europe we face a number of common challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the cruise industry stays on the right track,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises and Chairman of CLIA Europe. “To ensure future growth we call on European policy-makers to continue to work towards a more business friendly environment. We particularly need their support to reform the current EU Visa Code so as to encourage more foreign tourists to visit Europe. The cruise industry also needs a more consistent application of EU environmental legislation and port reform throughout the continent in order to avoid creating operational barriers in European waters.”