CLIA Says No Signs Of Slowdown For Asia Cruise Industry

Open Jaw

Cruise Lines International Association has released the findings of the new 2016 Asia Cruise Trends studyThe data reveals that the cruise industry in Asia is growing at a record pace and shows no signs of slowing down. 

In fact, according to the latest study, Asian source markets experienced the most growth year over year in ocean cruise pax with a 24% increase from 2014 to 2015 and a total of 2.08 million pax in 2015. Asian cruise deployment, capacity and destinations are all showing growth too.

"While we expected Asia to experience record-breaking growth in cruise travel, we are astonished at the rate at which the region is emerging as one of the most significant cruise destinations and cruise source markets in the world,” said Dr. Zinan Liu, Chair of CLIA North Asia.

“The cruise industry has been nimble and responded quickly to the demand for cruise travel in Asia by delivering cruise ships with amenities and experiences tailored to Asian travellers," said Cindy D’Aoust, President & CEO, CLIA.

Here are some facts and trends revealed by the study:

More Ships – This year, 60 ocean cruise ships will sail in Asia vs. 43 ships in 2013 and 15% more than the 52 operating in 2015. Of the ships sailing this year, 14 operate year-round while another 12 have extended deployment in Asia.

More Sailings – The number of ocean cruises and voyages offered in the region continues to grow to meet demand with 1,560 sailings scheduled for 2016 alone, 43% more than last year.

Capacity Boost – Capacity continues to grow, surging by 51% in 2016. As a result, the overall passenger capacity on ocean cruise ships will reach 3.2 million in 2016.

Demand for Destinations – Cruising in the region includes more than 204 destinations across 17 countries, making travelling by cruise ship one of the easiest ways to see multiple destinations throughout Asia.

Increase in Chinese Cruisers – From 2012 to 2015, the number of Chinese pax grew at an annual compounded rate of 66%. Growth in 2015 alone was 40%. In 2015, 986,000 pax were from mainland China, representing close to 1/2 of the Asian volume, compared to 703,000 in 2014. In both 2014 and 2015, China has been the world's fastest growing major source market. 

Preference for Shorter Cruises – Asian pax continue to prefer shorter ocean cruise lengths. In 2015, almost 30% of Asian pax chose cruises 2 to 3 nights in length while 50% chose 4 to 6 night cruises.

Asian Exploration – While Asian outbound tourism is exploding around the world, the study found that Asian cruisers are primarily exploring Asian destinations. More than 8 out of 10 Asian pax cruised within Asia. The remaining 16% flew to cruise destinations outside the region, primarily in Europe, followed by Alaska and the Caribbean.

Under 40 Cruisers – In China, the average age of cruisers is below 43 with about 42% of cruise travellers below 40 years old. For the region, the same segment represents 38% of all cruisers.

Attracting the Asian Traveller – Cruise lines have recognized the need to bring their best ships and amenities to the region. New onboard offerings tailored to Asian guests include onboard activities aimed at multi-generational families, high-end shopping, languages and adapted menus.

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