Growth expected in cruise tourism sector

The cruise tourism sector will go from strength to strength in 2014, with four to five per cent growth expected within the industry over the course of the year.

This is according to attendees at the Cruise Shipping Miami expo, the 30th edition of which wrapped up last week, with various key players commenting on how they expect the playing field to develop over the next 12 months.

As always, the Caribbean is likely to account for much of the growth due to the fact it is a favourite for both regular cruisers and those who are new to the experience, thanks to its fantastic array of islands and islets that are great to explore on a small cruise vessel.

Locations such as Cuba and Martinique are particularly alluring due to their pristine beaches cropped with palm tree forests, glittering azure waters supporting extensive coral reefs and, above all, a tropical climate that ensures plenty of sunshine.

However, attendees at the four-day Cruise Shipping Miami event were quick to point out that European destinations are most certainly pulling their weight when it comes to drawing in the international cruisers.

Representatives of 24 Spanish port authorities, as well as 70 companies from the port community, chambers of commerce, city halls and port city tourism boards in Spain, pointed out that 7.6 million cruisers arrived in the nation’s ports in 2013 – a 275 per cent increase in the last decade.

Greece has also indicated a strong performance in terms of cruise arrivals, with visitors attracted to the history, mythology and natural beauty of its vast collection of islands.

With the health of the sector predicted to go from strength to strength throughout 2014, it can only be good news for travellers and operators alike.