Fears of over-capacity in the cruise sector are unsubstantiated and it is likely to be ‘under supplying’ the market by 2012, Carnival UK chief executive David Dingle has predicted.
Dingle, speaking at the Institute of Travel and Tourism Conference, said supply and demand were well balanced, despite fears of over-capacity as a result of the number of new ships planned.
Based on continued growth in demand for cruises of 7% a year until 2012, Dingle said: “We are pretty much in balance and, by the end of the period, we are likely to be under-supplying [the market]. We can sustain a reduction in growth and still be well set.”
Dingle forecast a slowdown in ship order programmes as a result of rising fuel costs and other cost increases, but claimed this is unlikely to affect cruise operators.
“Fuel and other cost increases will clearly have an impact on future investment decisions. Frankly, there will be a slowing down of ship orders over the new few years. We want to continue to grow but we have no need to increase our capacity at quite the rate we have been doing.”
He predicted there will be around five new ships a year from 2013, but said supply and demand will remain in balance.
He said: “From 2013 onwards you will not have 10 ships a year – you will see probably half that figure.”