New Zealand passenger numbers surged 10.6% in 2014, putting the country ahead of growth rates in Germany (5%) and North America (2.7%), CLIA Australasia gm Brett Jardine told stakeholders at a morning tea at The Langham Auckland on Thursday.
Announcing the results of CLIA Australasia’s 2014 New Zealand cruise industry source market report, Jardine said New Zealand follows the high growth rates in Australia (20.4%) and France (13.6%.).
He said CLIA Australasia will take figures for China into account when CLIA South East Asia and CLIA North Asia release a source market report on the entire Asia region for 2015 early next year.
Jardine said a record number of 65,609 New Zealanders took a cruise holiday last year.
He said the number of New Zealand cruise passengers has more than doubled over the past five years, with an average annual growh rate of 17.3% since 2009.
He said that, although the New Zealand cruise market is small by international standards, the equivalent of 1.4% of the population took a cruise in 2014 (up 0.1% on 2013), giving the nation a greater market penetration rate than established cruise markets like Spain (1%) and France (0.9%).
The most popular destination was the South Pacific which attracted more than 20,000 passengers (31.4% of the market).
European ocean cruising ranked second, with close to 12,000 passengers (more than 18% of the market).
There was an increase in the number of passengers cruising close to home, with 7,519 cruising New Zealand waters (11.5% of the market).
River cruising’s growing popularity prompted a 31.2% increase in passenger numbers to 5,464.
New Zealanders cruising to the Caribbean region, including the Bahamas and Panama Canal, grew 46.1% to 2,629.
The numbers to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and South America rose by 44.1% to 4,310.
The most popular cruise duration was eight- to-14 days,with more than half of all passenger numbers (34,000) opting for this length.
New Zealand cruise passengers spent almost 680,000 days at sea in 2014 with the average length of a cruise holiday estimated at 10.4 days.
Jardine said the outlook for the New Zealand industry is buoyant, with a growth rate of only 7% required to reach 100,000 passengers by 2020.
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