Announcing details of New Zealand’s cruise industry ocean source market report for 2017 in Auckland Tuesday morning, CLIA Australasia & Asia md Joel Katz said that is an 8.7% increase on the previous year.
‘New Zealand continues to outperform many other more established cruise markets in percentage terms, well ahead of the USA, Europe and the UK and Ireland,’ Katz said.
‘With 109 new cruise ships set to be delivered between 2018 and 2027, New Zealand is well positioned to reap the rewards of increased local deployments, as long as infrastructure constraints can be addressed and the tax burden on cruisers and the industry does not become too onerous,’ he said.
Infrastructure, tax issues are key
Katz said resolving infrastructure constraints in Auckland and regional ports and minimising any additional tax burden on cruise passengers and operators is an absolute priority to future proof cruise tourism in the region.
While the industry was forecasting to reach 100,000 New Zealand ocean passengers in 2017, three years ahead of the previous target of 2020, the slowdown in growth across the region, due to infrastructure capacity constraints, resulted in this target being missed by 2000 passengers.
The country’s growth rate slightly increased its market penetration rate to 2.2%, retaining its ranking of sixth in the world, a greater market penetration rate than established markets like Italy (1.2%), Spain (1%) and France (0.8%)
The South Pacific maintained its place as the most popular destination for Kiwi cruisers, with the region attracting one in almost three of the ocean cruise passengers.
New Zealand cruises continued to be the second most popular, with 24% of Kiwis choosing to cruise close to home.
The number of New Zealanders cruising in Australia jumped to 13,264, an increase of 112% over 2016.
Spike in shorter voyages
The most popular cruise duration was eight to 14 days, with 44% of cruisers, but there was a massive 150% hike in shorter voyages of less than four days.
Age brackets remained consistent with 2016, with around 40% of New Zealand cruisers under the age of 50 and about 60% aged over 50.
New Zealand continues to be an attractive cruise destination for international travellers. Around 200,000 from 145 countries visited the region in 2017. The largest number came from the USA (87,000). The United Kingdom followed (21,000), with 19,000 from Europe, 14,000 from Canada and 7,000 from the growing source market of Asia.
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