The ocean cruise market in Germany continues to be one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors. Going by current trends, Germany could rival the UK’s position as the second largest ocean cruise market.
Clia Germany revealed at ITB Berlin that 1.77 million German passengers took an ocean cruise in 2014 – a notable rise compared with the 1.7 million that cruised from the UK in 2013. Clia UK and Ireland said the UK’s 2014 figures would be announced next week, at the Cruise Shipping Miami exhibition and conference.
According to a Bloomberg report, Germany is becoming Europe’s top contributor of passengers to the cruise industry as record employment levels and generous vacation rules give consumers the cash and leisure time for sightseeing by sea.
Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV), said “the ocean cruise market in Germany continued to be one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors.”
Commenting on the recent figures, Michael Ungerer, chairman of Clia Germany added: “Over the last 10 years passenger numbers have increased threefold.”
The U.K., currently the region’s biggest cruise market, showed no growth at 1.7 million passengers last year, while 1.71 million Germans will take overnight ocean trips this year, according to Ungerer’s forecast.
Germany saw a 9.2 percent rise in passengers in 2013 too, drawing level with Britain as Europe's largest markets, with each accounting for around 27 percent.
Germany’s economic growth, as well as employment levels near an all-time high, contrast with recessions in southern Europe, where record joblessness in countries including Spain and Italy have almost halted the industry’s growth in the region, the Brussels-based CLIA Europe said in its 2012-2013 annual report.
Germany offers a minimum 20 days’ vacation plus 10 paid holidays, according to the U.S. Center for Economic Policy and Research.
The total worldwide cruise industry is estimated at $39.6 billion (a 6.9% increase over 2014) with 22.2 million annualized passengers carried (a 3.2% increase over 2014), according to industry data and analysis provider Cruise Market Watch.
Although the pattern of growth across Europe is uneven, cruising's low penetration levels offer the 'biggest opportunity for growth,' said