A cruise is defined as a boat trip for relaxation or pleasure on board an ocean liner or recreational boat. The global cruise market covers all tourist tours organized by cruise operators worldwide.
According to the professional federation CLIA (International Association of Cruise Companies), the cruise market attracted 21.3 million customers worldwide in 2013, compared to 20.9 million in 2012, an increase of only 2%. Over 10 years, however, the overall growth of the sector has been impressive: +77% in terms of passenger numbers, with only 12 million passengers going to sea in 2003; according to CLIA, the cruise market injects $100 billion into the economy each year, employs 775,000 people and has $32.5 billion worth of taxes.
The cruise market is dominated by a handful of international operators, leaving little room for new entrants.
To gain market share and sustain their growth, cruise market operators are investing massively in the renovation of their fleets and are relying on the middle class in emerging economies, such as China.
The cruise market must deal with the geopolitical instability in certain regions, which directly affects operators' routes.
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