Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Jan 11, 2021

What’s the outlook?

CLIA report charts the course for 2021

While 2020 was challenging beyond description, new research indicates that there is optimism on the horizon with two out of three cruisers willing to cruise within a year and 58% of international vacationers, who have never cruised, likely to cruise in the next few years.

That was one of the headlines from the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook.

CLIA’s Outlook highlights the cruise industry’s global economic impact, trend forecasts and the industry’s continued commitment to responsible tourism practices and leadership. 

Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA, observed that: “For the cruise community, there is no denying that 2020 was not the year we anticipated. Still, the industry wasted no time adjusting course to address the challenges before us.”

Craighead continued: “… CLIA’s 2021 report … highlights the extraordinary steps that 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.”

The report includes the 2019 Global Economic Impact Analysis underscoring the tremendous growth of the cruise industry and the corresponding contributions to the international economy prior to the global health emergency.
In 2019, cruising sustained 1,166,000 jobs equaling $50.53 billion in wages and salaries and $154.5 billion total output worldwide in 2019.
The analysis also found:

 Passenger Port City Spending – Passengers spent $385 in port cities before boarding a cruise and spend $100 in each visiting port destination during a cruise.

 Global Passengers – Most Cruisers from North America – The cruise industry hosted a total of 29.7 million passengers worldwide in 2019. North America accounts for the highest rate of cruisers with 15.4 million passengers cruising in 2019.

 Jobs Impact from Covid-19 Suspension – In 2020, every 1% loss of cruisers resulted in a reduction of 9,100 industry-related jobs.

Each day of the suspension, caused direct and indirect industry losses of 2,500 jobs.

In 2021, CLIA member cruise lines anticipate debuting 16 new ocean ships resulting in a total of 270 CLIA member cruise line ocean ships projected to be in operation by the end of 2021.

Looking ahead, this “Fleet of the Future” will feature enhanced health and safety cruise protocols for the resumption of passenger operations designed to help protect passengers, crew and destinations.

 Successful Sailings – From early July through mid-December 2020, there were more than 200 sailings with multiple layers of enhanced measures in place. The success of these initial sailings demonstrates new protocols are working as designed—to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 among passengers, crew and the destinations cruise ships visit.

 New Cruise Protocols – Some of the new protocols include crew and passenger COVID-19 testing prior to embarkation, mask wearing, physical distancing, air management and ventilation strategies as well as enhanced medical capabilities. 

While CLIA’s members worked to address the impacts of COVID-19, the cruise industry also remained focused on its commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future.

The association’s report highlights the industry’s $23.5 billion investment in ships with new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce carbon emissions, partnerships with local governments in key destinations, and a commitment to reducing its rate of carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2008.

And it showcases the progress the cruise industry is making in the adoption of new environmental technologies.

 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) – 49% of new build capacity on order will rely on LNG fuel for primary propulsion.

 Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (ECGS) – More than 69% of global capacity currently utilizes EGCS, while 96% of non-LNG new-builds will have EGCS.

 Advanced Wastewater Treatment Systems – 99% of new ships on order will have these systems in place, bringing global capacity served by these systems to 78.5%.

 Shore Side Electricity – 58% of new build capacity is committed SSE compatibility with 32% of global fleet capacity already capable of SSE and 25% of existing capacity will be retrofitted to use SSE.

CLIA chairman Adam Goldstein observed: “2020 was a year unlike any other and I am proud of how our industry has united together to weather this unparalleled pandemic.”

And Goldstein concluded: “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.”

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