Considering the growth of cruise tourism, an important niche segment, Sri Lanka Tourism participated at the Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 with industry stakeholders. The event was held at the Broward Country Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in USA together with three Sri Lankan cruise operating companies from 14 to 17 March.
The cruise industry is the fastest growing category in the leisure travel market. Since 1980, the industry has experienced an average annual passenger growth rate of approximately 7.2% per annum. A cruise product is diversified. Throughout its history, the industry has responded to vacation desires of its guests and embraced innovation to develop new destinations, new ship designs, and diverse on-board amenities, facilities and services, plus wide- ranging show side activities. Cruise lines have also offered their guests new cruise themes and voyage lengths to meet the changing vacation of today’s travellers.
The most important characteristics of the cruise tourism segment is that they are a ‘luxury’ form of ‘mass tourism’ with high spending capacity and cruisers are not travellers, not mere tourists and well-travelled all over the world and they like to explore around the world to get more experience.
Cruisers are relatively high spenders, critical influencers and have the potential to improve tourism multipliers through ‘word of mouth referral marketing’, returning for holidays with ‘top of the mind recall’ as well as generating more economic benefits of significance in the local value chain.
Seatrade Cruise Global is the cruise industry’s premier global event and its organisers guarantee to bring together every facet of the business including cruise lines, suppliers, travel agents and partners at the event. It is an opportunity to showcase products and services of cruise operations to the cruise industry buyers and decision makers.
In the current development of the cruise industry in the world, there are approximately 33 cruise liners expected to visit to Sri Lanka during year 2016 combining with other ports in Sri Lanka.