Australia: the fastest-growing cruise market in the world 

By ,   May 26, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

Australian cruising reached its target of 1 million local passengers 6 years early. It is a record-breaking run, and according to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) report, Australia is currently the world's fastest-growing market.

In 2014 more than 1 million Australians (4.2% of the population) took a cruise vacation. This is the largest share per population in the world and the 1st time any region has surpassed 4%, according to the report. The latest cruiser numbers represent a 20.4% increase on 2013 and a 6-fold increase over the past decade.

The only other country that has achieved double digit growth in 2014 was France, while the UK, Italian and Spanish markets shrank.

Australians already account for 4.5% of world's 22 million cruise vacationers, making the country the 4th largest source market. Germany is second with 8%, followed by UK/Ireland (7.4%). North America still holds the dominant position with 54.2% of passengers.

The most popular destination for Australians is the South Pacific, with nearly 400,000 cruisers (39%) choosing to holiday in the region in 2014. The Caribbean is experiencing the strongest growth, with 65% more Australians compared to 2013. Although New Zealand remains the 3rd most popular destination, it attracted 10% fewer passengers than in 2013.

Due to the rapid growth of Australian cruise market, local industry has revised the 2020 target, doubling its target cruiser number from 1 to 2 million. This would require a 12.5% annual average growth over the next 6 years with accessibility and choice being the key drivers of it.