Cruise Industry To Boom Next Year
Over 20 million people predicted to take cruises in 2012
Ongoing demand for cruise holidays is set to take annual passenger numbers to a record high of 20.3 million next year, according to a new trends forecast.
The figure, from industry analytics provider Cruise Market Watch, would represent a 5.6 per cent increase on 2011.
Positive developments for the sector next year will include the launch of new ships such as the Carnival Breeze, MSC Divina, Costa Fascinosa and Disney Fantasy, while a further eight vessels are due to enter service by 2015.
These liners are set to generate an additional $2.3 billion (£1.46 billion) in annual revenue for the industry, which will have an overall value of $34.1 billion in 2012, according to the study.
The 2012 Port Pulse rankings from Cruise Market Watch identify Miami, Florida as the leading embarkation point for sea voyages and Nassau in the Bahamas as the most popular port of call.
Consumers from North America and Europe account for 86 per cent of worldwide passengers, but regions such as Asia are growing in importance as source markets for the sector.
On the business side, Carnival Corporation - which includes brands such as Holland America Line and Princess Cruises - and Royal Caribbean Cruises continue to dominate the industry, with a combined global market share of 73 per cent.