Cruise

STUDY: Domestic cruise industry set for big growth

More than five million travellers are expected to take a domestic cruise in 2023, according to new research.

GlobalData’s latest report, Tourism Source Market Insight – Australia, estimates that domestic trips by sea are set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.36 per cent from 3.9 million in 2018 to 5.1 million by 2023 – holding the highest growth rate among all other transport means.

“High costs and less stress are driving more Australian travellers to opt for short breaks along the ocean rather than venturing inland for domestic travel trips,” Johanna Bonhill-Smith, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData, said.

“Retail remains a key pastime for Australian travellers dominating both domestic and outbound expenditure patterns.

“However, more rural destinations along Western and Southern Australia are growing in popularity. This has also contributed to the rise in domestic sea travel, as Australians aspire for a more relaxed and tranquil environment.”

Last week, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia managing director Joel Katz said the industry had “defied” berthing restraints in key Australian ports to achieve a high rate of growth.

“A lack of available berthing space in Sydney has made it difficult for the cruise industry to increase its capacity in Australia, but this has been countered by significant increases in the amount of spending by cruise passengers,” Katz said.

“In the future, we look forward to achieving a solution to Sydney’s infrastructure constraints, while at the same time benefitting from investment in other ports such as Brisbane, Cairns, Broome and Eden which are improving their ability to welcome cruise ships.”

The Australian cruise industry has shown an 11.2 per cent increase in its total value to the national economy, contributing $5.2 billion in direct and indirect output during the 2018-19 financial year, CLIA noted in its 2019 Economic Impact Assessment.

In addition, cruise ships are visiting a more diverse range of destinations in Australia, with 47 different ports across the country travelled to by vessels last year, Australian Cruise Association (ACA) CEO Jill Abel said.

“The economic impact of cruising is not only enormous and growing, it’s also reaching locations that might otherwise be difficult for visitors to access,” Abel said.

“The diverse range of ports Australia offers around its coast is attracting more and more cruise lines, while also spreading the economic benefit of cruise tourism to the furthest corners of the continent.”

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