Cruise industry must do more to boost numbers, Clia chairman says

Cruise industry must do more to boost numbers, Clia chairman saysThe cruise industry is not doing a good enough job to drive forward the number of Brits taking a cruise, Clia UK and Ireland chairman Jo Rzymowska has told cruise lines.

Speaking at the Clia UK and Ireland AGM on Friday, the Celebrity Cruises boss said the industry needed to get across the array of variety offered on cruise ships – compared to what is offered by land-based holidays.

She said that while the UK was leading the way in Europe in terms of the number of people taking a cruise, numbers hadn’t risen as much as hoped.

“Just under 22 million people every year are cruising with us (globally) – that has doubled over the last decade, which is significant,” she said.

“And in the UK we are still leading the way from a European point of view with 6 million cruises and just over 1.7 million of those from the UK. However, that has remained fairly static as we know for the last couple years.

“We are leading the way, but there is a country snapping at our heels – the Germans. It’s up to us collectively to not let that happen.”

Rzymowska said land-based holidays didn’t offer the same variety as cruises, and that ocean and river vessels offer great access to destinations, a better and more consistent level of customer service, and more choice to suit all needs.

She added: “Land-based holidays don’t offer these to the extent we do, but still only 1.7 million Brits take a cruise. Quite frankly, as an industry we are not doing a good enough job and we need to do a far better job than we are today.”

Clia UK and Ireland’s three working groups – PR, consumer engagement and trade engagement – have been coming up with great ideas on how to take the industry forward, according to Rzymowska.

Globally 95% of the cruise capacity is a member of Clia, with 61 cruise lines. In the UK, US and Australia, Clia works with more than 50,000 agents and Rzymowska said Andy Harmer’s team in the UK was leading the way.

“Our aim is to talk to agents even better and more effectively than we are today. The UK and Ireland, under Andy’s leadership, is leading the way in doing that.”

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