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To say last year was a challenge for the cruise industry would be putting it mildly.
“For the cruise community, there is no denying that 2020 was not the year we anticipated,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), in a press release. “Still, the industry wasted no time adjusting course to address the challenges before us. We are pleased to share CLIA’s 2021 report that highlights the extraordinary steps that the cruise community took to develop and implement enhanced public health protocols to keep putting people first, while continuing to focus on innovation and responsible tourism practices that make cruising the best way to experience the world.”
Most important to agents ready to sell, CLIA’s 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook indicates that two out of three cruisers are willing to take a cruise within a year, and 58% of international new-to-cruise vacationers are likely to take their first in the next few years.
The industry wasted no time adjusting course to address the challenges before us.
Successes in 2019 included the employment of 1,166,000 jobs equating to $50.53 billion in wages and salaries and an overall global output of $154.5 billion. Altogether, 29.7 million passengers — 15.4 million of which were from North America — cruised worldwide. Two years ago, per passenger spending amounted to $385 in embarkation ports and $100 in each port of call.
By comparison, the industry remained mostly at a standstill in 2020 due to COVID-19 suspensions, and every 1% loss of cruise travelers resulted in a downturn of 9,100 industry-related jobs. With each passing day, 2,500 direct and indirect jobs were lost.
Now the current outlook is far less grim.
“2020 was a year unlike any other, and I am proud of how our industry has united together to weather this unparalleled pandemic,” said Adam Goldstein, chairman of CLIA. “As we look to 2021, I know that cruisers are eager to set sail once more, just as our industry is eager to put people back to work and create unforgettable experiences for our valued guests.”
This year, 16 new CLIA-member cruise ships are anticipated, most of which will serve the U.S. market, increasing the total of CLIA ocean ships to 270.
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All are elevating their health standards to combat the coronavirus, and already more than 200 sailings have embarked safely from early July through mid-December 2020. Measures have included crew and passenger COVID-19 testing, mask wearing, physical distancing, improved ventilation and enhanced medical capabilities.
But all that is just the start, as the cruise industry seeks to invest $23.5 billion in sustainability efforts. The industry goal is to achieve a 40% reduction of carbon emissions from 2008 levels by the year 2030.
Nearly half of newbuilds (49%) will utilize clean-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) as their primary propulsion fuel, 99% will feature advanced wastewater treatment systems and 58% will have the ability to draw from shoreside electricity (SSE). About a third (32%) of the global fleet already has SSE technology in place, and a quarter of existing capacity will be retrofitted with it.
Even on 96% of non-LNG newbuilds, exhaust gas cleaning systems are planned, and more than 69% of cruise ships already utilize such systems.
In short, all of this means a cleaner and healthier cruise experience for clients and the globe alike.
The DetailsCruise Lines International Associationwww.cruising.org