All time high for European cruise industry: New figures reveal 39million Europeans cruised in 2014 despite challenging economic conditions
European cruise market reaches an all-time high: 6.39 million Europeans cruised in 2014 despite challenging economic conditions
44% cruise passengers’ growth since economic crisis began
Support from stakeholders and policy-makers is vital to long-term growth
Miami, March 17, 2015 – Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, announced today from the 31st annual Cruise Shipping Miami Conference that more Europeans than ever booked a cruise in 2014, increasing 0.5% compared to the 2013 figures.
Since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008, the European cruise market has grown by 44%, proving the cruise industry’s resilience. According to the latest figures available, cruise economic impact in Europe approached €40 billion in 2013, providing nearly 340, 000 jobs.
Pierfrancesco Vago, CLIA Europe’s Chairman and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, said:
“Once again, the number of Europeans choosing a cruise vacation has hit a new record – reaching 6.39 million passengers – despite the on-going economic difficulties in Europe. Thanks to our efforts, cruising has proved once again to be an excellent holiday choice for millions of passengers in Europe and beyond, providing great value for money.”
In 2014 Germany became Europe’s first source country with 1.77 million passengers, while France consolidated itself as the fourth largest source market in Europe, with an impressive growth of 13.7%. At the same time there was a decrease in capacity deployment in the Mediterranean, which affected several markets, due to cruise lines’ individual strategies and a backdrop of continuing economic difficulties in the EU.
Talking about the 0.5% growth rate for 2014, Pierfrancesco Vago said:
“This may sound like a small achievement, but if we consider the European economic climate, we can see that this is an extraordinary result, and continues our industry’s trend of steady growth year-on-year. While Europe is struggling to recover from the economic crisis, our industry has continued to grow. We have grown by an incredible 44% since 2008.”
Pierfrancesco Vago concluded:
“This year’s slower growth rate reminds us that success can never be taken for granted. We are optimistic about the future, we see that the global demand for cruising is growing, and we know that opportunities for Europe are many – from low market penetration rates to new ships to be launched. But we need to work harder with European stakeholders and policy makers to overcome common challenges and increase the pressure for a more business friendly Europe.”
Raphael von Heereman, CLIA Europe’s Secretary General, said:
“There are still many challenges we need to face in Europe, and these include the revision of the EU Visa Code. If we do not act swiftly to adopt it, the EU risks losing competitiveness to third countries as well as important revenues in terms of trade, investments and jobs. On the contrary, a timely adoption of a smart Visa Code would boost the European tourism sector, and enable the cruise industry to contribute even more to Europe’s economy and society.”
Key figures released by CLIA Europe:
· 6, 387, 000 Europeans took a cruise in 2014, an all-time high.
· This marks a 0.5% growth of Europe’s source market compared to the previous year.
· The number of Europeans choosing a cruise holiday has increased by 44% since 2008, when the economic downturn began. The industry has enjoyed growth year-on-year.
· Germany has become Europe’s first source market with 1.77 million passengers, increasing by 5%, mostly due to capacity increases from German cruise lines AIDA and TUI Cruises.
· Capacity was moved away from UK ports which, while leading to an increase in fly cruises, resulted in an overall 4.8% decrease in the number of British passengers taking a cruise in 2014.
· Italy remains the third largest source market, despite a 3.1% decrease that is explained by the decrease of capacity deployment in the Med.
· France has achieved impressive growth (13.7%), consolidating itself as Europe’s fourth largest source market.
· Spain has continued to decline (–4.5%), due to the decrease in capacity in the Med and the closed operations of Iberocruceros, although this year’s decrease was much softer than the previous two years.
· The Scandinavian market has increased by 5.6% this year.
· In 2013, last year figures available from our European Economic Contribution Report, the industry in Europe generated over 339, 000 jobs and €39.4 Billion of economic benefits annually.
About Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) – One Industry, One Voice
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2015, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. As the largest cruise industry trade association with 15 offices globally, CLIA has representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA’s mission is to support policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable cruise ship environment for the more than 23 million passengers who cruise annually, as well as promote the cruise travel experience. Members are committed to the sustained success of the cruise industry and are comprised of the world’s most prestigious ocean, river and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and other cruise industry partners, including ports, destinations, ship developers, suppliers, business services and travel operators.