Association forecasts 27.2 million cruise passengers in 2018

In 2018, 27.2 million passengers are forecasted to sail on cruise ships, according to Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook.

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To meet demand, 27 ocean, river, and specialty ships are scheduled to launch in 2018.

This year, 25.8 million passengers sailed, while 24.7 million sailed in 2016. From 2011-2016, this represents a 20.5 percent increase.

In 2016, the industry generated $126 billion in revenue globally.

“It is without question that the cruise industry continues on a growth trajectory, gaining in consumer interest and creating a positive impact on the global economy,” Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of CLIA, said. “The 2018 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook is a way for us to keep a finger on the pulse of the global cruise industry and its impact on the global economy and identify new travel trends that will influence cruise travel in the future.”

CLIA also found that a third of passengers make $80,000 or less in income. Despite income levels, however, passengers are seeking more than a vacation. Extreme adventures, voluntourism, health and wellness trips, and cultural immersion have become popular. They also are seeking sustainability.

Cold weather destinations are increasing in popularity.