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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