Asia is expected to continue growing in popularity in the next few years, with the arrival of new ships in 2019/2020 including from Costa Cruises, Genting Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises.
Singapore – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released data from its 2018 global cruise industry numbers that Asia’s cruise passenger source market hit a new high last year with 4.24 million people taking an ocean cruise, up 4.6 percent over 2017.
CLIA also forecasted cruising in Asia to continue to grow in popularity in the next few years, with the arrival of new ships in 2019/2020 including from Costa Cruises, Genting Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International and MSC Cruises.
Joel Katz, CLIA Managing Director for Australasia & Asia, said: “We also see several Asian destinations building new infrastructure to support cruise development,” he said. “Consumer interest in cruise has also been rising as Asian travellers discover the ease, relaxation and value of a cruise vacation.”
According to CLIA’s data, Asia maintained a 14.8 per cent share of the total 28.5 million global ocean passengers for 2018. The region continues to be the cruise industry’s third largest market after North America and Europe.
Most of the source markets in Asia saw year-on-year gains in 2018 except Mainland China and Malaysia. Singapore, India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam recorded double-digit growth.
Mainland China retained its dominance as a source market, accounting for 55.8 percent of all Asian passengers. The Chinese market however has been going through a period of adjustment and saw a 1.6 percent decline in passengers.
According to CLIA, the more measured increase in Asia’s passenger volume did not come as a 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.