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Cruise numbers at British Isles ports forecast to grow at record pace

Cruise Britain estimates passenger numbers to the British Isles in 2018 will continue to show the strongest growth rate of any northern European market segment.

13.5% average annual growth rate

With just over quarter of a million cruisers predicted to make day calls at British Isles ports by the end of the season, the growth rate since 2012 averages 13.5% annually against a northern European average of 3.86%.

The forecast provided by GP Wild (International) continues to be optimistic, with day call passengers potentially reaching 344,000 by 2020. Most of these individual passengers will step ashore at multiple ports and contribute to the tourism economies of many regions. Strong regional growth can already be seen at several ports including Douglas (Isle of Man), Kirkwall (Orkney), Portland and Tyne.

'This strong predicted growth is excellent news for all British ports and service providers and really shows the draw of Britain as a cruise destination,' said James Stangroom, chair of Cruise Britain. 'All our members work incredibly hard to attract and support their cruise calls and it’s very encouraging to see our region growing so quickly.'

'Enormously varied destinations'

The British Isles offer 'enormously varied destinations within short sailing distances and the popularity of regional ports is increasing every year,' Stangroom continued. 'More and more tourists are appreciating that a cruise is an ideal way of exploring the diversity of our shores, cities, attractions and activities.'

The cruise market is growing at 'exponential rate at the moment and it is excellent news that the British Isles are predicted to keep pace with this,' Stangroom added. 'Britain can offer a port for every cruise ship currently sailing and many can handle both day calls and embarkations which increases the opportunity to grow business.'

At Seatrade Cruise Med this week

Cruise Britain and member ports and service providers are exhibiting at Seatrade Cruise Med in Lisbon this week and can be found at stand 460.