Cruises - US - October 2013
“The cruise industry is the fastest growing travel segment and is expected to continue its expansion through added capacity. However, global per passenger revenues have remained essentially flat from 2008-13, which begs the question of whether growth is sustainable, and how cruise lines will ensure that demand—and revenues—will keep up with the increasing supply.”
– Fiona O’Donnell, Senior Lifestyles & Leisure Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Will demand keep up with increasing supply?
- How have recent safety issues impacted the industry?
- Do cruise lines need to provide a guarantee?
- Is a la carte pricing the answer to keeping fares low while boosting profits?
After rebounding in 2010 and 2011 following the recession-induced declines of 2009, the North American cruise industry has continued to grow. Through the steady introduction of new products—particularly innovative ships with larger capacities—cruising is the fastest growing segment of the travel industry.
However, while the cruise industry continues to grow, recent high-profile safety issues will make it difficult for major players to attract new vacationers to the category. Mintel research shows that compared with past cruisers, those who have never cruised are more likely to have been affected by the negative press that surrounded the industry during 2012 and early 2013. For this reason, cruise lines will see greater competition from within the industry for the core cruise consumer as well as competition from other travel markets as non-cruisers look to other vacation options.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel defines a cruise as leisure travel, by ship, or on a large boat that offers a broad array of recreational activities. This analysis is focused upon North American ocean-going cruises, including those to the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Alaska.
The North American passenger cruise industry is defined as those cruise lines that primarily market their ocean-going cruises in North America. These cruise lines offer cruises with destinations throughout the globe. While most originate in US ports, cruises also originate at other North American ports and ports in other continents. River cruises are included as part of the analysis and revenues are included in total North American cruise line revenues. However, the main focus of this report is on ocean-going cruise lines.
All of the dollar sales represent global revenues for North American cruise lines. (See definition of North American cruise lines above.) They include all cruises to all destinations and all passengers, regardless of nationality, country of residence, or port of embarkation.
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