CLIA: Awareness, Popularity of Cruises Continues to Rise

A cruise ship docked at Ocho Rios in Jamaica
Photo by johany/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has released more good news for the cruise industry as part of its first Cruise Industry Consumer Outlook of 2017, conducted in partnership with J.D. Power.

According to the report, cruise travel is continuing to become more popular and awareness is on the rise among all types of travelers. 64 percent of study respondents said that their awareness of cruise vacations has improved within the last two years, and, in the last four months alone, 30 percent of respondents said that their awareness of cruising and ship-based excursions “increased greatly” compared to a year or two ago. In terms of perception, only 6 percent of respondents expressed an unfavorable attitude towards cruising, down 11 percent from four months ago.

The findings dovetail with other recent positive signs for the cruise industry. In CLIA’s fourth Travel Agent Cruise Industry Outlook Report of 2016, over three-quarters of travel agents surveyed projected a continued increase in cruise sales volume, and 67 percent of travel agents reported seeing growth in river cruise popularity.

Similarly, in the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) recently-released 2017 ASTA How America Travels National Study, the organization found that Millennials were the generation most likely to take a cruise. 57 percent of Millennials reported having taken a cruise, with 90 percent of those Millennials who had taken a cruise saying that they liked the experience.

Other notable highlights from CLIA’s 2017 study:

The number of travelers who are interested in taking a cruise vacation is up to 63 percent, with interest in both ocean cruising (50 percent) and river cruising (30 percent). Over 50 percent say they will or probably will take an ocean cruise, while 80 percent say they will board a cruise ship within the next 12 months.

The study also found that travelers find cruising a good value for the money. 67 percent of respondents said that cruising offers a high value experience for the money, beating out land-based vacations at 47 percent. 66 percent were aware of close-to-home embarkation port options and more than 50 percent were willing to drive up to 500 miles to a port.

J.D. Power conducted the survey online in August and December 2016, targeting 500 consumers who earn more than $50,000 annually and had taken a vacation within the past three years. CLIA said that this report is the first of three to be released in 2017.