The Australian cruise market has grown by 21 percent, with 1,281,159 Australians taking a cruise in 2016; and with many of these local cruises calling at the 34 regional ports and anchorages around the Australian coastline, local communities benefit from the injection of valuable tourist dollars .
The growth of 222,378 passengers is the biggest increase on record, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s 2016 Australian Ocean Passenger Cruise Industry Source Market Report.
CLIA Australasia’s Managing Director, Joel Katz said in a Press Release that:
“In 2016, Australia achieved the equivalent of 5.3 per cent market penetration, that’s one in 19 Australians taking a cruise, making this the highest per capita ratio in the world,” he says.
“The growing capacity and the wide variety of cruising options being offered are capturing the imagination of Australians, with more Australians discovering that cruising is an easy, relaxing and value for money way to holiday. The most popular cruises are local itineraries in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, accounting for 76.7 percent of Australian cruise passengers, growing by 30.2 percent year on year.”
According to Mr Katz, Australia’s ocean cruise passenger numbers have increased by an average of 19.4 per cent annually since 2007. In the last five years, these numbers have doubled. However, future growth of Australia’s cruising sector will be hindered by a lack of berthing options in major capital cities.
The annual report shows Australia has performed well ahead of leading established markets including, Germany, UK and Ireland, and USA/Canada.
Other key findings of the 2016 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market report include:
- Domestic cruising continues to surge fuelling the growth of Australian passenger numbers, with local cruisers growing by 23.4 percent from 269,916 in 2015 to 332,979 in 2016.
- Australia’s favourite cruise destination was South Pacific attracting more than 42 percent of ocean cruise passengers (542,825)
- New Zealand pulled ahead of Europe in 2016 as Australia’s third most popular destination overall, attracting 8.3 percent of passengers (106,737)
- While Alaska saw a 25.5 percent increase, other long-haul fly-cruise destination experienced a fall in 2016, with Europe falling by 11.8 percent and Asia by 10.1 percent
- Short break cruises for four days or less grew by 59.7 percent in 2016, and cruises of 22+ days rose by more than 20 percent. 8 to 14 day cruises remain most popular in 2016, attracting 642,063 passengers (50.1 percent of the market).
- The majority (89.3 percent) of all Australians cruising in 2016 took a cruise of 14 days or less
- Australians spent 12 million days at sea in 2016 with an average ocean cruising length of 9.4 days
- Australia was the fifth largest source market in the world in 2016 accounting for 5.2 per cent of global cruise passengers.