In retrospect, Seatrade Cruise Global, the largest annual gathering of the cruise industry headquartered in Miami Beach this April ’19 exceeded all of my expectations. The leading annual business-to-business event now in it’s 35th year, also featured 200 new exhibitors.
With more than 11,000 delegates in attendance there was not doubt that the cruise industry is on the rise.
One of the many keynoters, Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International started us off with some impressive statistics of where the cruise industry is heading.
She noted the continued growth of the cruise industry, with 28.5 million people taking cruises in 2018, a 6.7 percent increase over the prior year. That compares to 17.9 million cruisers in 2009. The projected total of cruisers in 2019 is 30 million
She continued saying that the industry continues to innovate and attract new cruisers with new ships – in all, 18 new ships will enter the marketplace in 2019 for CLIA member cruise line
It was interesting to attend (it was actually my second Seatrade as I also attended in ’18) where the cruise line executives met mainly with supplier’s who have everything else to do with cruising experience. Such as Entertainment; Environmental & Heath; Hotel Operations & Concessions; Information Technology: Ports & Destinations; Safety and Security; and Ship Equipment & Shipbuilding companies
And yes, Augmented and Virtual Reality was creating a huge buzz in the Information and Tech section. So Cruise Line Executives, “don’t miss the boat on this new technology which is becoming more mainstream each day”. And is truly changing the way Travel is not only being viewed Now but in Future!