The number one trend in the cruise industry is the fact the business is going global, according to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) President and CEO Christine Duffy, and Marketing Chair Jim Berra who is also chief marketing officer at Carnival Cruise Lines, speaking at a press conference today in New York.
2013 passenger numbers are up, with CLIA estimating 20.97 million passengers among their 55 member lines globally, compared to 20.3 million last year. For 2013, 17.6 million of those almost 21 million passengers will sail from North America, according to CLIA.
Berra pointed to increased capacity in the Asia region, and said that China could be a $7 trillion consumer spending economy by 2020.
Costa Crociere is thus putting more capacity in the Asia region, said Berra, and sailing more short cruises. In addition, Princess Cruises is also deploying a ship in Japan in 2013 and will increase its capacity fivefold in 2014.
More CLIA numbers showed Caribbean market share at 34.5 percent, and Europe split between the Mediterranean at 21.7 percent and non-Med at 10.9 percent.
With 3,000 agents joining the CLIA organization from CLIA Australia, there is an ongoing focus on agent training, said Duffy.
“We are defining the next generation of travel advisers,” she told the media, pointing out the new Cruise Forward campaign, along with a new YouTube channel launched for CLIA and its member lines.
Another trend, said Berra, is the increased focus on major ship revitalizations as he showed projects recently completed by Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Windstar and more.
Berra, describing himself as bullish on the future, added: “In the last three decades the industry has seen better ships and a better distribution model, those are inputs to growth. This is about the global markets and opening them up.