CLIA: Following a challenging year in 2020, new research shows there is resiliency and optimism heading into 2021

Trade organization Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released the 2021 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook report which highlights the industry’s global economic impact, trend forecasts and the industry’s commitment to responsible tourism practices and leadership. Despite a challenging year in 2020, new research also reveals 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.

“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,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA.

Global Economic Impact and Passenger Data

CLIA’s State of the Cruise Industry report includes the 2019 Global Economic Impact Analysis which underscores the tremendous growth of the cruise industry and its 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 in 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 are 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.

Fleet of the Future – New Cruise Protocols

     CLIA Cruise Lines anticipate debuting 19 new ocean ships in 2021, resulting in a total of 270.

CLIA 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 than200 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.