Using the findings from the Asia Cruise Trends study undertaken by CHART Management Consultants, CLIA identified trends on the Asia market.
Since 2013, passenger capacity grew at a 20% compound annual growth rate and is expected to reach almost 2.2m in 2015. The Asia region has quickly progressed to fourth in passenger capacity deployment, tied with Australasia.
Cruise lines hosted nearly 1.4m Asian vacationers in 2014, a 34% compound annual growth rate since 2012.
‘It is exciting that, for the first time, we know the true size of Asian source markets and have been able to extend our understanding of Asia’s cruise industry growth and potential,’ said Adam Goldstein, CLIA global chairman.
‘2015 will be a record-breaking year in Asia with more travelers cruising the region than ever before. The cruise industry is responding by offering more cruises with experiences tailored to Asian travelers as well as enticing international travelers with an easy way to visit Asia’s array of fascinating destinations.’
From 2012 to 2014, the number of Chinese passengers grew 79% per year. In 2014, 697,000 passengers were from mainland China which is almost as many passengers as all other Asian markets combined (701,000).
In four of the largest cruise markets – China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines – more than four out of 10 passengers were under 40.
This year, 52 cruise ships will operate in Asia, a 10% compound annual growth rate since 2013. The number of cruises and longer voyages in the region has also grown with 1,065 sailings scheduled this year, up 11% per year. There has also been a significant increase in the number of days cruise ships are in operation, from 4,307 operating days in 2013 to 5,824 operating days in 2015.
While Asian outbound tourism is exploding around the world, the study found that Asian cruisers are primarily exploring Asian destinations. More than nine out of ten Asian passengers (91%) cruised within Asia. The remaining 9% flew to cruise destinations outside the region, primarily in Europe, followed by Alaska and Caribbean.
Cruising in the region offers more than 168 destinations across 18 countries, making traveling by cruise ship one of the easiest ways to see all that Asia has to offer.
Japan ranks top with 646 port calls this year, followed by Malaysia (580), South Korea (377), Singapore and Thailand (374).
Depending on the market, many Asian guests have limited vacation entitlements. Therefore, there are more short duration cruises being selected by Asian consumers with 48% of Asian passengers choosing four- to six-day cruises in 2014, 38% choosing cruises of two to three nights, and only 12% opting for seven to 13 night cruises.