With cruise business still growing in Asia, CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) is projecting that 25.3M people will take a cruise next year.
That represents an estimated 4.5% increase from 2016, when 24.2M passengers are expected to cruise. Originally, CLIA gave an outlook of 24M for this year, but in June revised the forecast up slightly while also bumping up 2015 totals.
The outlook for 2017 is based on the historic relationship between yearly capacity increases and passenger increases.
Next year, 26 new ocean, river, and specialty ships are set to debut, including two vessels that will be deployed year-round in China. Several cruise lines announced recently they are visiting Cuba for the first time in the new year with older ships, which is expected to stir up fresh excitement for otherwise standard Caribbean itineraries.
According to the industry outlook, worldwide spending generated by the cruise industry reached $117 billion in 2015. The equivalent of 956,597 full-time employees earned $38 billion last year — an amount that fell year-over-year even as the number of workers increased. Last year’s projection said that 939,232 employees had earned $39.3 billion in 2014 and the total economic impact for the industry was $119.9 billion.