In a March survey of the wealthiest 10% of U.S. households, the American Affluence Research Center found that intentions to cruise during the next 12 months had fallen to a record low of 11% of the respondents, down from 14% in the Fall 2012 survey.
The new reading compares to a high of 22% in the Fall 2007 survey and the prior record lows of 12% recorded in the Spring 2009 and Fall 2010 surveys. The studies have been conducted twice yearly since 2002 by the American Affluence Research Center.
At 11% of a population of 11.4 million households, the estimated number of cruise buyers is 1.3 million households or 2.6 million total cruisers over the next 12 months. This would represent over 20% of the North American market. In addition, about one million additional potential cruisers say they have not yet made a decision.
As the survey was conducted in March, it is likely that the decline in cruise plans was at least partially attributable to the negative media coverage of the Carnival Triumph incident.
The Affluent Market Tracking Study #23, published by the American Affluence Research Center, is based on 463 survey participants who have an average annual household income of $309,000, an average primary residence value of $1.2 million, an average net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.8 million.