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Oct 1

Written by: ashish.kumar
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 1:09 PM 

Travel and tourism is now one of the largest industries in the world. Economically, it creates jobs and contributes over 12% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), as well as brings in capital investment and exports. Socially and culturally, travel and tourism offers the opportunity of providing jobs for minority and disadvantaged groups, creating adequate training in management skills, education and technology to local people and increasing incomes in rural and local economies, thereby contributing to the alleviation of poverty in developing countries. Environmentally, it is essential for travel and tourism to maintain an optimal balance of its natural resources to ensure the ongoing arrival of tourists to destinations. Technologically this is the industry where there is a great scope for the IT companies to grow and look forward for better future ahead.

Travel and Tourism have different sub-sectors like Air, Hotel, Car, Cruise etc. Cars and Cruises were the only untouched sectors while we have plenty of solutions and knowledge about Air and hotels. Today we have plenty of Sources to acquire knowledge about the Air and hotel sector. Cruises on the other hand were hidden all the time may be due to the resources and unavailability of technology in the past. But now people are aware of what Cruise industry is and what all are the resources to get knowledge about it.

The report mainly focuses on the Cruise industry, Technology and Solutions present in the market. This Report will help IGT to understand the Cruise Industry and to find out the Scope in the cruise software and solutions.

This report starts with an overview of the Travel and Tourism industry today including the summary of key figures and trends. It looks at general industry-wide trends in each of the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social and environmental), and also the role of technology in the present cruise industry.

The bulk of cruise line employees are from countries where employment opportunities are limited and training is scarce. The industry provides the opportunity to travel, free medical care and upward mobility, particularly for women from developing nations.

The cruise line industry is a significant economic contributor worldwide and particularly to the United States economy, leaking into industry, agriculture, airlines, travel agents, food and beverage suppliers and other service sectors. It is also a booming industry that is forecast to grow to 22 million passengers by 2010.

The passenger cruise industry is an exciting, modern and rapidly expanding global industry. During the current decade, it has continued to expand its capacity and to develop new cruising opportunities for vacationers.

With capacity projected to continue to increase each year, the future offers extraordinary opportunities for the industry, its customers and suppliers. This increase in capacity is driven by a record number of new ships coming into service. Among these will be mega-liners that can accommodate more than 3,000 passengers as well as smaller, more intimate luxury vessels. The industry has a history of growth approaching 8% per year for the past decade, and the outlook for the future seems extremely bright.

 

Economic dimensions

During the last decade, the cruise ship business is a tourist industry that has grown rapidly.  According to WTO, world demand reached 8.7 million passengers in 1999.The North American markets cover two-thirds of the global volume; this is primarily due to the renaissance of the cruising destinations in the Caribbean. Although the number is relatively small in the global holiday market, the industry has an enormous momentum and it is believed that North American and European demand will, by the end of 2010, surpass 12 million passengers.

In the North American market, the United States is the dominant source of cruise passengers. However, in recent years a growing percentage of passengers have come from Europe, Canada, and other areas. This expansion has led to cruise line employment of men and women in these markets both ashore and aboard ships. Comparing 1998 to 1990, cruise ship embarkation from North American ports increased by almost 70 %.The major United States ports of call are located in Florida, Alaska, California, Louisiana, New York, Texas and Massachusetts.

Globally, while the Caribbean region is the principal destination with 44.5% share of placement, a significant percentage of the global capacity is allocated to other markets. These include Alaska, 7.9%, the Mediterranean, 12.7%, Europe, 8.1%, the Trans-Canal (Panama) 4.0%, United States West Coast, 3.3%, Hawaii, 2.6%, and South America, 2.4%. Among the remaining destinations, the capacity for world, Transatlantic, Asia, Australia, Middle East and Antarctica cruises has more than doubled since 1990.The social, environmental and economic sectors of these emerging destinations will prove to be a challenge and an opportunity.

Global Demand For Cruises

The cruise industry has developed into a significant economic contributor to the United States   economy, including industry, agriculture, and the service sector.A study conducted in 2001 by the Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA)(65) concluded that in 2000, total economic benefit by the cruise industry and cruise-related activities was approximately USD17.9 billion. Of this, the cruise industry contributed USD9.4 billion in direct spending for the products and services of United States companies.

The industry’s extensive economic relationships include high-tech equipment, travel services, banking and insurance, textiles, technical services, dry-docking and shipyard repair. Other major United States industries that benefit from the cruise business are the airlines, travel agents, food and beverage suppliers and the business and service sectors. Total wages generated for United States employees was USD8.7 billion.

As a result of these economic partnerships, the cruise industry is able to create employment for thousands of United States citizens and support for state and local economies in all 50 states.The BREA study estimates that in 2000, the cruise industry generated jobs for 257,067 Americans. In the United States, capital expenditures by the cruise lines more than doubled between 1997 and 2000. According to BREA, this growth required significant investment in new
cruise ships and upgrading of the existing fleet. Other purchases by the cruise lines rose 30%. In total, spending in the United States associated with the industry increased by nearly a third between 1997 and 2000, to USD9.4 billion. While these economic benefits in the United States are substantial, there are also significant benefits worldwide in the industry’s new emerging markets. By way of example, the cruise industry has significant impact in Germany, Finland and Italy due to the shipbuilding activities in those nations. In nations where tourism is encouraged, the cruise lines purchased services ashore (transportation, tour operations, supplies, etc) and many of the service sectors and local business benefit from cruise ship tourists spending ashore.

Moreover, tourism activity can lead to development of new markets for the products of local artisans, which not only has both the social and economic benefit of additional local income, but also helps preserve cultural tradition and identity. Although there has been some concern that these economic gains in tourist destinations are seasonal, it is clear that the markets involved are better off with the cruise industries financial input, and sufficient growth can more than compensate for the seasonal variation.

The modern cruise industry is now 40+ years old and is the most exciting growth category in the entire leisure market. The growth of the cruise industry continues as we enter an era distinguished by innovative, feature-rich ships, international ports-of-call, and convenient departures from proximal embarkation cities. Since 2005, the industry has had an average annual passenger growth rate of above 8% per annum.
Worldwide passenger numbers topped 16 million in 2007 and are expected to grow to 20 million by 2012 as ships increase in size up to 220,000 tons or almost five times the size of the legendary Titanic. Cruise lines are committing record levels of investment in new ships but there is a clear recognition by the major players that, if their ambitious long-term expansion plans are to be realized, they need to grow alternative source markets and develop new destinations - and that they need to do it right now.
The cruise industry had a lot of good news in 2007. New cruise ships were launched, technology was improved, onboard options were enhanced, and cruise passengers were treated to new wonderful worldwide destinations.
Although its impressive recent growth curve shows no sign of having peaked, there are key indications of a change of focus away from its prime source market (North America) and leading destination (the Caribbean).
Only by taking a global view of the industry can a perspective be gained on whether this current shift of emphasis towards Europe and Asia and away from North America is a temporary deployment policy change or evidence of a permanent shift in the balance of power within cruising.
The cruise industry continues to experience extensive growth in terms of technology usage also: $1.2 billion is invested annually on new technologies and refitting alone. In fact it’s the fastest growing segment of the travel industry. The global cruise industry has a value of above $40 billion, with cruise lines in the world’s largest market, North America, accommodating a record 16 million passengers globally in 2007, above 8 per cent increase of almost a million passengers over 2006, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
With cruises a popular choice amongst many holiday makers. It is interesting to see just how the industry has evolved from the days of early transportation to the multimillion pound leisure industry it now is. There have been many milestones during the growth of the industry which has pushed the boundaries of what is possible aboard a ship further and laid foundation for what was to become one of the must relaxing, luxurious holiday options available.
More than 300 cruise ships representing 115 lines now ply oceans around the world, visiting around 2000 destinations and able to accommodate a total of 380,000 passengers. Seatrade reports that an additional 35 cruise ships – most of them superliners – accommodating 93,000 passengers and collectively worth US$20 billion, will be built by 2011 to meet growing demand. Twelve of the upcoming 35 ships have been launched in 2007, adding 22,000 beds to worldwide capacity. By 2015, the world’s cruise ships will be able to accommodate a total of 588,000 passengers.

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