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Ad spend on cruises goes full steam ahead, but are they sailing into troubled waters

May 3, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Australians are willing to take to the seas with more than half (55%) considering going on a cruise.

Strong growth in advertising spend from cruise operators is driving consumer enthusiasm, but questions have been raised as to whether Sydney’s infrastructure can support demand. If tour operators pull Australian ports from their routes, the current trend in advertising growth could face a sudden change in course.

Adrian Vasile, Associate Director, Travel and Tourism at Nielsen said: “Over the past four years, advertising spend from cruise operators has seen a 58% increase. At the current pace of growth, advertising dollars could reach $79 million in 2017.”

“Spend allocated to international cruises are the wind in its sails, with year-on-year increases of 12% and 18% in 2015 and 2016, respectively. International cruises accounted for almost three-quarters (74%) of advertising spend in 2016,” Vasile added.

Nielsen data for 2016 reported two-thirds of advertising spend in the category was assigned to print (64%), followed by TV (27%).

“This trend is consistent over the past four years, with more than half of media spend going to print on average,” outlined Vasile. If cruise ships no longer visit Australian shores, the resulting impact on advertising spend will hit local print media hardest.”

Insights from Nielsen’s Ad Intel 2016 highlight that the top six advertisers accounted for 54% of total spend in the cruising category. Over 200 cruising advertisers account for the remainder.

Vasile concluded: “The biggest spender was Royal Caribbean Cruises which had almost double the expenditure of its nearest competitor. However, this dynamic could shift dramatically with Royal Caribbean Cruises indicating it will limit services to Australia.”

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