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Latest cruise report shows demand for cruises in Asia

May 23, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Despite the number of cruise ships deployed in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, nine out of 10 Asian cruise passengers prefer to cruise in Asia – and more of them would cruise if more ships were deployed in the region.

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, has released its 2018 Asia Cruise Industry Ocean Source Market Report. The report offers an in-depth look at the growth, demographics and trends of the top source markets in Asia.

Asia-sourced cruise passenger numbers hit another record high in 2018 with 4.24 million people taking an ocean cruise (up 4.6%) – but Asia’s share of the worldwide market stalled. In 2018, global ocean passenger volume was 28.5 million, and Asia accounted for 14.8%, a slight dip in share (0.03%) versus the 15.1% achieved in 2017.

The report noted: “The more measured growth in Asia’s passenger volume is no surprise as cruise ship capacity dipped in 2018 after years of rapid expansion in this region. Asia’s slowdown in ship capacity is due to the strong demand for cruise ships worldwide and reduced short cruise itinerary options ex-mainland China.”

While China continues to dominate the passenger share of Asia, cruise passengers from Taiwan and Singapore have been steadily growing in numbers. Multiple source markets, many of which registered double-digit growths in 2018, contributed to Asia’s record-breaking 4.24 million ocean-going cruise passengers. Asia is the third largest cruise region after North America and Europe.

“With nine out of ten Asian cruise travellers choosing to cruise in Asia, it is clear that cruising will keep growing in popularity as more capacity will be deployed to Asia in the next few years,” said CLIA managing director Australasia and Asia, Joel Katz.

“Asian cruise passengers are found across the age spectrum, suggesting different consumer segments interested in a cruise holiday and providing numerous possibilities for industry partners to develop the cruise penetration rate in this region.”

New cruise trends

Highlights from the 2018 Asia Cruise Industry Ocean Source Market Report include:

  • Asian cruise passengers are found across the age spectrum with an estimated average age of 45.4 years, lower than the global average of 47 years. Only three markets show real divergence: India, a young 37-year average; Indonesia a 39-year average and Japan an older 57 years.
  • Asian cruise passengers predominantly sail in Asia with more than 50% (2,194K) cruising in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Almost 40% (1,694K) cruise in the rest of Asia.
  • Beyond Asia, the Mediterranean, Caribbean/South America, Baltics/Northern Europe, and Alaska were popular choices, in that order.
  • Shorter sailings remain the dominant choice of Asians, 89% of whom are sailing 4-6 nights with an average duration of 4.9 days.

Edited by Peter Needham

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