Cruising growth slows

Cruising growth slows

AUSTRALIA’S cruise industry will not reach its target of two million passengers by 2020 as growth slows due to infrastructure constraints, CLIA Australasia managing director Joel Katz has confirmed.

Katz released the association’s annual ocean passenger Cruise Industry Source Market Report today in Sydney, which showed 1.34 million Australians took an ocean cruise in 2017.

The report showed the Australian cruise market growth rate has slowed to 4.4%, well below the 2016 growth of 21% announced in last year’s figures.

Katz acknowledged “the growth wasn’t as dramatic as recent years,” but emphasised the result still put Australia on par with the world’s largest cruise market, the USA, which experienced a growth rate of 4.7%.

CLIA Australasia president Steve Odell said the numbers were “a warning”, as the industry started to see the effects of a lack of cruise infrastructure development in Sydney and across the region.

The 2020 target was set in 2015, when the previous goal of one million passengers was achieved more than five years earlier than forecast (TD 26 May).

Odell said to reach the 2020 goal, Sydney would have needed “five or six” more homeport ships.

“That’s where we’re seeing the crunch now because there’s no room for big ships in Sydney,” Odell said.

Katz reinforced a need to “future-proof” cruise tourism in Australia by resolving “infrastructure constraints and ensure the right regulatory settings to allow more cruising to Australian ports”.

“As long as we can solve the lack of cruise infrastructure development in Sydney and across the region, we’ll see further increases in passenger numbers,” he said.

CLIA Australasia will this afternoon hold an AGM to elect a new president, with Odell set to complete his term.

Source: traveldaily