The number of Chinese people taking a cruise is projected to fall this year from the 2.8 mill recorded in 2017.
According to Paris-based shipbroker and consultancy, Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS), the anticipated drop is due to a backdrop of tightly regulated ticket sales and distribution, which has already led to falling prices and lower yields for the cruise companies.
A political row between South Korea and China, which lead to a Chinese travel ban on people visiting South Korea, also hindered growth.
BRS said that going forward, severe challenges are faced by cruise companies wishing to serve the Chinese market, including seasonality, infrastructure, demographics, client expectations, via restrictions and potentially lower than expected on board spend by the Chinese.
In addition, there are a limited number of short haul voyages available along the vast country’s coastline.
In a wide ranging review, BRS said that US President Trump’s hardening attitude towards Cuba could also affect future US visitors to the island, thus curtailing cruise vacations.
On a more positive note, BRS said that cruising was becoming more diversified with companies offering ever increasing market segmentation to cater for clients greater variety in tastes and purchasing power.
This is anticipated to continue this year with new ships arriving boasting a greater range of new features.
Another area considered to be a booming market was in the expedition type cruises now being offered. This has led to an increase in newbuildings, including Ponant’s revolutionary icebreaking cruise vessel, which will open up new exploration possibilities, BRS concluded.