As many as 32 million passengers are expected to take a cruise in 2020, new industry analysis reveals.
Nineteen new ocean ships are due to enter service next year to meet the growing demand, from an estimated 30 million passengers this year.
This will bring the total number of ships operated by members of cruise line body Clia to 278 by the end of 2020.
Clia’s latest state of the cruise industry outlook report outlines how cruising sustained 1,177,000 jobs equaling $50.24 billion in wages and $150 billion total output worldwide in 2018.
Clia figures show that passengers spend $376 in port cities before boarding a cruise and spend $101 in each destination during a cruise. North America accounts for the highest rate of cruisers with 14.2 million North Americans cruising in 2018.
As many as 65% of cruise passengers spend a few extra days at embarkation or debarkation ports.
More than 66% of Generation X and 71% of millennials have a more positive attitude about cruising compared to two years ago, according to Clia.
A trend towards “micro travel” is highlighted with cruise durations continuing to change, with many travellers looking for quick trips. As a result, lines are offering bite-sized cruises over a three-to-five-day period offering shorter itineraries to a variety of destinations.
The report outlines an industry-wide commitment to responsible tourism practices, with a focus on “environmental sustainability and destination stewardship”.
It highlights the industry’s $22 billion investment in developing new energy efficient technologies, partnerships with local governments in key destinations, and a commitment to reducing its rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008.
Clia president and chief executive Kelly Craighead said: “While demand for cruising has reached new heights, the cruise industry is accelerating our efforts to be a leader in responsible tourism.
“Our members are at the forefront of best practices designed to protect the sanctity of the destinations we visit and enhance the experiences of travelers and residents alike.”
She added: “The industry’s economic impact is a big part of the story, especially as it relates to our passengers’ contributions to local economies and the diverse workforce onboard our ships.
“We recognise that with growth comes increased responsibility to raise the bar in all aspects of what we do to ensure cruising remains a force for good and the best way to experience the world.”