The global cruise industry continued to see steady growth in
2018 in line with the overall increase in global tourism, the Cruise Lines
International Association (CLIA) said in releasing its latest
report on global cruise passenger statistics.
According to CLIA, cruising continues at a paced growth around
the world with an almost 7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018, totaling 28.5
While the cruise sector represents 2 percent of the overall
global travel industry, this segment is on pace with international tourism
worldwide, CLIA notes.
According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer,
international tourist arrivals grew 6 percent in 2018, totaling 1.4 billion
while cruise travel grew at almost 7 percent during the same timing.
CLIA’s research also shows North American travelers continue to
embrace cruising with an annual passenger increase of 9 percent (14.2 million
passengers) in 2018. The Caribbean continues to be the hottest cruise market
with 11.3 million cruise passengers traveling there in 2018, representing an
annual increase of 6 percent. CLIA noted only moderate growth in Asia and
China when compared to the rapid increases of the past. In 2018, the region saw 5 percent increase in
cruise passengers totaling a still impressive 4.2 million.
Statistics further show that passengers prefer shorter cruises
and more adventurous destinations, especially Alaska. Cruises in the
Mediterranean are also gaining in popularity, with an 8 percent increase from
2017 to 2018 totaling more than 4 million cruise passengers.
“It is not surprising that cruise travel is on
par with overall international tourism growth. Cruising makes international
travel accessible for travelers worldwide and it is apparent in the 2018 CLIA
global passenger findings,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, CLIA.
“From a renewed interest in cruises to the Mediterranean to a significant
increase in adventure cruising, travelers are embracing cruise travel more than