Cruise Market Watch estimates embarkations from Asia will account for 8% of worldwide cruise travel in 2009, or 1.3 million annual passengers. Several very recent news stories also point to this growing and powerful trend. Go East, cruise lines and grow up with the Eastern economy.
"More than 82 cruises are scheduled to visit Dubai in 2009; a figure that will be significantly increased by 2010 due to the entrance of new markets. This means that as many as 40,000 cruising holidaymakers will embark on the region's leisure industry"
Bianca Lanao, International Account Director for luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises, is quoted as saying "The Middle East is an emerging market that is becoming more and more exposed to the cruise industry as more ships visit the region and awareness increases."
Moreover, Royal Caribbean recently added an office in Australia to respond to the demand, while Carnival is transfering an Ocean Village ship to Australia under the P&O Brand.
Another report comes from the All Asia Cruise Convention and is titled Asia Cruise Association (ACA), 10 years in the making.
During the convention, Christopher Hayman, Seatrade’s Managing Director stated: “Asia is on the threshold of major cruise expansion."
Undoubtedly, the ACA will provide its members a solid foothold toward making that vision, like Horace Greeley's, a reality.