Cruise sales will continue to grow next year, meaning even more Australians will take to the seas and rivers for their holidays. A 6% growth is projected for the global cruise industry in 2019, with 30 million passengers.
“This region has the highest market penetration in the world and we are predicting that CLIA travel agents can expect to see a rise in cruise sales in the next twelve months,” said CLIA Australasia Managing Director, Joel Katz.
The report also reveals some fascinating new trends – including the rise of social media, “achievement” holidays taking the place of experiences, a swing towards more environmentally sensitive travel and more female-centred and solo travelling.
The 2019 cruise travel trend predictions by CLIA include:
Instagrammable Cruise Travel
Instagram posts are driving interest in travel around the world, so much so that on an average day, there can be close to 351 million posts with the tag #travel. With onboard connectivity, cruise passengers Instagram feeds with diverse travel experiences both onboard and on land from several cruise destinations.
Stressed out from fast-paced lives, travellers are seeking ways to check out from daily responsibilities and rejuvenate more than ever before. Cruise lines are responding by offering total wellness in the form of restorative spa experiences, onboard oxygen bars, healthy menu choices for a wide variety of diets, and the latest in fitness innovations.
Achievement Over Experience
Experiential travel has evolved into achievement travel as holiday makers are looking to tick off their goal-oriented bucket lists that goes beyond sightseeing. Passengers can conquer Machu Picchu or complete culinary workshops hosted by Le Cordon Bleu chefs.
With the number of female travellers growing, many tourism and travel companies are creating female-centered itineraries based on interests and connecting women with other women.
There are more Google searches for “solo travel” and “travelling alone” than ever before and cruising allows for solo travel without the worry of arranging a ton of details while visiting even the most far-reaching destinations.
Travellers want to see the world in a conscious, mindful way. The cruise industry is more conscientious than ever, working with local communities to bring the benefits of tourism to local economies while preserving local cultures, landmarks and environments.
On-Board with Smart Tech
Cruise lines have adopted wearable technology for cruise travellers—including keychains, necklaces, bracelets, and more—in order to provide a highly personalised travel experience while on and off the ship.
Access is the New Luxury
Travellers are setting their sights on destinations that were previously out of reach, some only accessible now by cruise ship. They want to be among the first of their peers to experience destinations such as the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.
The off-peak season is rising in popularity and cruising offers some once-in-a-lifetime experiences during the colder months that include: excursions to see the Northern Lights, visiting a penguin colony, and touring European Christmas Markets.
Gen Z at Sea
Generation Z is set to become the largest consumer generation in the next two years—outpacing Millennials. Like the generation before, this age bracket prefers authentic experiences over material items and has an even greater wanderlust. The appeal of multiple destinations and unique experiences, such as music festivals at sea, is helping attract this new generation of cruisers.
Combining work with leisure time is on the rise. Straying far from the notion of device-free travel, many modern travellers or “digital nomads” are opting for trips where they can work remotely which cuts down on time off and lost wages. With WiFi, desks and work-friendly cafes, travellers can keep up with work while enjoying a cruise holiday.