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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
cruising cruising up in Australia AustrAliA And new ZeAlAnd Are prepAring for an armada of ships in their waters this summer, as the local cruise industry celebrates its biggest season yet. annual world voyages. Driving this burgeoning cruise scene is a healthy - and growing - consumer appetite for holidays at sea. In fact, latest cruise industry statistics indicate that a record 263,435 Australians took to the water in 2007. The statistics revealed an impressive 14 per cent growth in Australians taking ocean cruises, with numbers rising from 221,033 in 2006 to 251,674 in 2007. This is more than the 11 per cent growth recorded in the UK cruise market and way ahead of the 1.6 per cent growth achieved by the US market in 2007. In addition, for the first time the statistics included European river cruising, revealing that 11,761 Australians opted for a slower-paced river journey in 2007 – an impressive debut for the sector. The 2007 figures continue a strong annual growth trend, which has W 58 miceAsia.net hile the number of full-time ships based in Australia continues to expand, summer deployments are also on the rise, along with visits by cruise ships sailing on their been evident since the Council started compiling statistics in 2002. The story is similar across the Tasman, with Council statistics showing an 11 per cent growth rate in ocean cruising, with numbers rising from 26,510 in 2006 to a record 29,316 in 2007. This growth shows that Australians and New Zealanders are not only recognising the range of cruise options available - from large superliners to boutique yachts and expedition ships - they’re also responding to the huge number of destinations now on offer. The Cruise Council’s latest Australian statistics indicate that cruises in Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific waters are the most popular, with 61 per cent of total passenger numbers choosing to sail in the region. Asia was the next most popular destination, attracting nine per cent of the market, while Alaska/Canada and Europe both remained firm favourites, each attracting eight per cent. Overall, ocean cruising in Europe experienced the strongest growth in 2007, with passenger numbers rising 67 per cent largely due to an increase in capacity and an extended cruise season in the region.