Cruise Industry Reaches a Crossroads

The cruise industry has been growing in recent years. But even with cruises being more popular than ever, there are worries in the sector surrounding its development. The coronavirus is the most substantial concern, but there are also worries about the environmental impact of cruises and the changes in the people who might be interested in cruises.

Cruise Industry Reaches a Crossroads
Cruise Industry Reaches a Crossroads

How Many People Travel?

The Cruise Lines International Association states in its 2020 report that there will be nearly 32 million people traveling on cruises throughout the world in 2020. The total is according to a projection. The number has progressively grown from 17.8 million in 2009 to 28.5 million in 2018.

The growth of the cruise industry has led to many cruise lines introducing new routes throughout the world. Close to half of all routes go through either the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Cruise lines like Carnival, Celebrity, Mystic, Princess, Scenic, Silversea, and Virgin are all bringing out new ships in 2020.

Coronavirus Growth

Even with the industry’s growth, there have been some dramatic concerns over the industry that could impact its momentum. The development of coronavirus throughout the world is a significant issue.

Multiple cruise ships have been quarantined and tracked due to these vessels having tested positive for coronavirus infestations. Princess has experienced concerns with some of its ships having crew members and passengers that have been infected with the virus.

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival have all canceled a few dozen cruises and have rerouted a few others. These and other cruise companies are expressing concerns they might experience a drop in earnings due to the coronavirus.

Environmental Worries

The coronavirus is only one of the concerns that the cruise industry is experiencing. There are worries about the negative environmental impacts that cruise ships are producing.

A study by the Journal of Coastal Research states that cruise ships produce more carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide than other vehicles. A typical car produces 121.5 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometer traveled. A cruise ship can generate 1,200 kilograms of CO2 for every kilometer. The issue has turned many people off from cruises with the belief that they are harmful to the planet.

The CLIA states that cruise ships are starting to use cleaner energy sources for operation. Liquefied natural gas has become more viable, as it can produce fewer nitrogen oxide emissions. But the total emissions produced by such ships are still concerning.

Changes In Demographics

The demographics for travel have changed over the years. Younger working professionals do not have as much time for longer travel holidays as others have had in the past. There’s also the issue that younger people are be courted by other forms of leisure that might be more intriguing to them, thus leaving cruises to the wayside.

The CLIA states in its report that “micro travel” could be a point in the future that cruise lines have to adapt and support. The travel concept entails shorter cruises that go from three to five days.

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