January 11 2021  |  Industry News

CLIA releases 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report

By Laura Shirk

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade organization, has released the 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report. Featuring the industry’s global economic impact, continued commitment to responsible tourism and trend forecasts, the report offers a sense of resilience. Despite a challenging year in 2020, new research determines that there is optimism on the horizon, with two out of three cruisers willing to cruise within a year and 58% of international vacationers, who have never cruised, likely to cruise in the next few years.

“For the cruise community, there is no denying that 2020 was not the year we anticipated. Still, the industry wasted no time adjusting course to address the challenges before us.

With the year drawing to a close, we are pleased to share CLIA’s 2021 report that highlights the extraordinary steps the cruise community took to develop and implement enhanced public health protocols to keep putting people first, while continuing to focus on innovation and responsible tourism practices that make cruising the best way to experience the world,” says Kelly Craighead, President & CEO of CLIA.

Global economic impact and passenger data

The report includes the 2019 Global Economic Impact Analysis, which underscores the strong growth of the cruise industry and corresponding contributions to the international economy prior to the global health emergency. In 2019, cruising sustained 1,166,000 jobs equaling US$50.53 billion in wages and salaries and US$154.5 billion total output worldwide.

Passenger port city spending: passengers spend US$385 in port cities before boarding a cruise and US$100 in each visiting port destination during a cruise

Global passengers: with 15.4M passengers cruising in 2019, North America accounts for the highest rate of cruisers

Jobs impact from COVID-19 suspension: in 2020, every 1% loss of cruisers resulted in a reduction of 9,100 industry-related jobs

Fleet of the future – new cruise protocols

CLIA Cruise Lines anticipate debuting 19 new ocean ships in 2021, resulting in a total of 270 CLIA Cruise Line ships to be in operation by the end of the year. Looking ahead, this fleet of the future will offer enhanced health and safety cruise protocols for the resumption of passenger operations designed to help protect passengers, crew and destinations.

From July – December 2020, over 200 sailings with multiple layers of enhanced measures in place took to the water. The success of these initial sailings demonstrate new protocols are working to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crew and the destinations cruise ships visit. Some of the new protocols include crew and passenger COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, mask wearing, physical distancing, air management and ventilation strategies, as well as enhanced medical capabilities.

Spotlight on responsible tourism

As CLIA members worked to address the impacts of COVID-19, the cruise industry also remained focused on its commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future. The report showcases the industry’s US$23.5 billion investment in ships with cleaner fuels and new technologies, partnerships with local governments in key destinations and a commitment to reducing its rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. Overall, the report highlights the progress the cruise industry is making in the adoption of new environmental technologies including relying on LNG fuel for primary propulsion, implementing exhaust gas cleaning systems and offering shore side electricity.

“2020 was a year unlike any other and I am proud of how our industry has united together to weather this unparalleled pandemic. As we look to 2021, I know that cruisers are eager to set sail once more, just as our industry is eager to put people back to work and create unforgettable experiences for our valued guests,” adds, Adam Goldstein, Chairman, CLIA.

For the full 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook findings, visit: cruising.org/news/research

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