May 1, 2013

SYDNEY - Australia’s cruise industry growth continues to lead the world, with passenger numbers surgeing 11%  last year to a record high of 694,062. For a second consecutive year, growth in the Australian cruise passenger market surpassed other major cruise markets, with 11% in 2012 equalled only by Germany. North American passenger numbers grew just 2% in 2012, and the UK remained steady.

A 2012 Australian Cruise Industry Report also shows that the local industry now has the second-highest population penetration rate in the world, with the equivalent of 3% of Australians taking a cruise last year. Only the long-established North American cruise market had a higher penetration rate, at 3.3%. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia Chairman, Gavin Smith, says that in just four years, the number of Australians taking a cruise holiday has more than doubled. Europe is now the biggest fly-cruise market for Australians, with passenger numbers rising 26% to 57,719 (8.3% of the market). (ATI).