Significant infrastructure challenges facing the industry.
Cruise Lines International Association Australasia has just unveiled its 2016 industry statistics, with 1.28 million Australians taking an ocean cruise last year. The impressive figures indicated a whopping 21.4% annual growth rate and a 5.3% market penetration, meaning the equivalent of more than one in 20 Australians took a cruise last year.
The 220,000 annual increase was the largest rise on record, but CLIA Australasia and Asia ceo Joel Katz warned that for the ongoing strength of the market to be maintained it was vital that the industry’s infrastructure challenges be addressed, particularly in Sydney Harbour.
CLIA is targeting 2 million Australian ocean cruisers by 2020, which would require an 11.8% annual increase over the next four years. “We will not be able to continue this level of growth without infrastructure improvements…resolving the lack of berthing space in Sydney is an absolute priority,” Katz said.
The figures only reflect ocean cruising by Australians, with Katz confirming discussions would take place later this week with river cruise members of CLIA “to discuss the best way forward” in terms of providing industry statistics for the river sector.
More details in tomorrow’s issue of Cruise Weekly.