The global cruise industry is growing revenue at a rapid rate. This is in part due to the destinations and on-board amenities available now with advanced technology and better guest service.
Unlike other hospitality markets, the cruise sector has been enduring and stable. Even amid economic ups and downs, cruise operators are not impacted by the downturns. Some operators have implemented new entertainment concepts on board, including surf pools, planetariums, on-deck LED movie screens, golf simulators, ice-skating rinks, water parks, demonstration kitchens, multi-room villas with private pools, rock-climbing walls, bungee trampolines and more. The industry is strong, with the typical passenger spending their dollars both on-board and off for goods. Most of this revenue is captured by cruise ship as passengers spend on average $100 per port of call.
The demand for cruises continues to progressively grow, with three major trends shaping the industry’s current growth:
More Amenities and Entertainment – The cruise ship is an important part of the overall cruise experience since it also represents a destination in itself. An increasing number of amenities are available to passengers today, both on the ships and during shore excursions.
Bigger Ships for More Passengers – A more diverse guest base has incited the deployment of larger cruise ships. Not so long ago, cruise ships would accommodate about 2,000 passengers, but during the past decade it’s not unusual to find ships of 6,000 passengers being deployed. And the larger the ships, the better the equipped they are to support a wider range of amenities.
Guest-facing Technology Options – Whether for online booking, remote check-in, way-finding, dining reservations, electronic waivers, self-service kiosks, and other secure purchases, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds aboard most vessels. And with the costs of connecting at sea more reasonable these days, it’s easier to share images with friends and family on social sites, and further promote the cruise line. Long gone are the days of passengers feeling disconnected from the rest of the world while at sea.
Cruise management may be more complex with the rapid pace of technology advancement, but with the right solutions this could also be the era of greatest opportunity.