Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released the 2020 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report.
The report found that cruising had an increased worldwide economic impact in 2018, sustaining 1.18 million jobs. This equated to US$50.2 billion in wages and salaries, and US$150 billion of output worldwide. Industry growth also impacted upon cruise destinations, as passengers spent an average of US$376 in port cities before boarding a cruise and US$101 in each port visited during their cruise.
Accompanying the recent economic growth has been a greater commitment to responsible tourism practices, with a focus on environmental sustainability and destination stewardship. The industry has invested US$22 billion in the development of new energy efficient technologies to progress towards the goal of reducing its rate of carbon emissions by 40% in 2030 compared to 2008. As a result, 44% of newbuild capacity is to rely on LNG for primary propulsion, 88% will be able to take advantage of shoreside power and 100% will have advanced wastewater treatment systems in place.
“The industry’s economic impact is a big part of the story, especially as it relates to our passengers’ contributions to local economies and the diverse workforce onboard our ships,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “We recognise that with growth comes increased responsibility to raise the bar in all aspects of what we do to ensure cruising remains a force for good and the best way to experience the world.”
The cruise industry has also fostered a greater level of cooperation with destinations, according to the report. Cruise lines have worked with local government to manage the flow of visitors at each port, introducing initiatives to stagger arrivals and departures, diversify excursions and increase local passenger spending.
These practices will become increasingly important, with 32 million passengers expected to sail in 2020. To meet this demand, CLIA cruise lines are scheduled to debut 19 new ocean ships next year, bringing the total number of CLIA cruise line ocean ships in operation to 278.
“While demand for cruising has reached new heights, the cruise industry is accelerating our efforts to be a leader in responsible tourism,” said Craighead. “Our members are at the forefront of best practices designed to protect the sanctity of the destinations we visit and enhance the experiences of travellers and residents alike.”