Aussie cruisers crack one million

Aussie cruisers crack one million

As if we already didn’t know Aussies love to cruise, the latest figures from the CLIA 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report have confirmed it.

Australia’s cruising market last year managed to crack the one million mark, a first in our country’s history.

Sitting at an exact figure of 1, 003, 256 cruisers from down under, it’s becoming clear that the cruise industry isn’t slowing down any time soon.

“This is the first time in the industry that’s almost 90 years old that one million Australians have been carried by a cruise ship,” CLIA’s chairman Gavin Smith said at the launch of the report this morning at The Overseas Passenger Terminal.

“We have long talked about when we would achieve this, and never in these discussions did we expect it to come this soon. We are many, many years in advance.”

And the figures show that Australia is indeed a good six years ahead of the mark in reaching this massive number, but that’s not the only thing the Aussie cruise market is winning at.

The market penetration of Australian cruisers has reached 4.2% of the population, which represents a growth of 170,000 passengers in order to hit this number.

The first nation in the world to soar past the 4% mark in market penetration, Australia has become a “world leader” in the cruise industry.

“No other country in the world is achieving this number,” Smith said.

“Cruise ships are being thought of as a destination in itself, and is now the third largest reason for Australians to travel overseas.”

“We are sitting at the fourth largest cruise passenger source market in the world, extending our lead over North America.”

When we break down the stats, there are a few key things to know about Aussie cruisers.

The majority of cruise passengers are staying close to home, with 39% in the South Pacific, 19% staying domestic, 9% heading over to NZ, and 6% popping up to Asia.

Europe remains the most popular long haul destination for cruising, with this market jumping up 21% overall.

“Australians are still showing an interest in the traditional home of cruising too,” CLIA’s general manager for Australasia Brett Jardine said.

“And while the Asia Pacific market remains the most visited, the biggest percentage of growth was seen in the Caribbean, the Bahamas and the crossing of the Panama canal with a growth of 65%.”

River cruising is also on the up, soaring more than 60% in 2014.

And over the Tasman, cruising to NZ actually fell by 10%, but this was due to the “lack of available berths” according to Jardine.

“But our friends across the ditch remain buoyant about attracting more cruise passengers from Australia,” he added.

Aussies spent an average of 10 days at sea in 2014, with the most popular timeframe for cruising the big blue sitting at between eight and 14 days, while river cruising attracts most for 13 days.

And while almost all states grew their cruise numbers by around 20%, Queensland and NSW remain the key contributors of passengers, at 23.6% and 40.9% respectively.

“No single age group dominated the cruise industry last year,” Jardine added.

“Now more than ever there really is a cruise for everyone.”

“All being well, we are well on our way to achieving the revised 2020 forecast of two million passengers.”

“The expansion of our industry in recent years means there’s now a huge range of ships and itineraries on offer across the globe and I think Australians, who are inveterate travellers, are responding by increasingly factoring a cruise into their holiday plans,” Smith said.

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