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.”
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, comments: “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.”
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the world's largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. CLIA represents the interests of cruise lines, travel agents, port authorities and destinations, and various industry business partners before regulatory and legislative policy makers. CLIA is also engaged in travel agent training, research and marketing communications to promote the value and desirability of cruise holiday vacations with thousands of travel agency and travel agent members.
Press release by CLIA, 17 March 2015