More than one million Australians took a cruise in 2014, breaking an all-time record for Australian cruise passengers in a single year.
This number surpassed the previous forecasts set for 2020, indicating that this sector in the Australian tourism industry is growing much faster than anticipated.
The statistics were just released by Cruise Lines International Association Australasia (CLIA), which gave the total tally of 1,003,256 passengers from Australia alone. The most popular destination for these passengers has been the South Pacific, with almost 40% of Australians choosing a cruise through the region.
Overall, Australians account for up to 4.5% of global cruise passengers, says CLIA gm Brett Jardine. This is a percentage of the 22.1 million global cruise passengers in 2014 overall, and surpasses Italy to become the fourth-largest cruise market after North America, Germany and the U.K./Ireland.
“Five years ago, the industry thought that it might be possible to achieve one million passengers a year by 2020 – to reach that number in 2014 is an amazing result and shows the true passion Australians have for cruise holidays,” said CLIA chairman Gavin Smith.
“If our growth rate continues at just 12.5% for the next six years, we will reach two million passengers by 2020,” he said.
The most popular cruise duration in Australia is 8-14 days. However, CLIA’s report showed a recent increase in cruises of four days or less, with 59% more passengers opting for shorter cruises in 2014.