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Published on : Friday, May 27, 2016
A record 66,152 New Zealanders plied the world’s oceans on a cruise holiday in 2015 with a 10 per cent leap in passenger numbers helping to make the country one of the world’s top performing markets, according to a new report released.
The report reveals that New Zealand was one of only three international cruise passenger markets to record a double-digit increase last year, beaten only by Australia and emerging hot spot China (up 52 per cent).
With Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s annual New Zealand Cruise Industry Source Market Report now focussed solely on ocean cruising, in line with international CLIA reporting, the latest figures show the New Zealand ocean cruise passenger market has gone from strength to strength, recording almost 65 per cent growth over the past five years.
Cruises in local waters, including New Zealand and the neighbouring regions of Australia and the South Pacific, continued to account for the majority (54 per cent) of cruise passengers, with last year’s strong growth led by an increase in New Zealanders cruising in Australia (up 71 per cent) as well as Asia (up 64 per cent).
Released in Auckland, the figures also show that New Zealand cruise passengers spent almost 680,000 days at sea in 2015.
CLIA Australasia Chairman Steve Odell said the 2015 figures meant the equivalent of 1.4 per cent of the population had taken a cruise last year with New Zealand now ranked sixth in the world for market penetration ahead of many established cruise nations including Italy (1.3 per cent), Spain (1 per cent) and France (0.9 per cent).
“New Zealand is still an emerging source market but after another year of solid growth, which saw the nation outperform most key markets, it’s clear that cruising is growing in popularity,” Mr Odell said.
“These figures show us that New Zealanders are increasingly recognising cruising as a great value and relaxing way to travel, not only in their backyard but also as part of an overseas trip.”
The annual source market report is based on data received from CLIA’s cruise line members, which account for more than 95 per cent of the world’s cruise passengers.