Tuesday, October 17, 2017
   
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Royal Caribbean Attracting Much Younger Generation of Cruisers

Leading cruise line Royal Caribbean has revealed new research demonstrating its impact on cruise industry growth by attracting a younger generation of new-to-cruise families.

While the average age of UK and Ireland passengers taking cruise holidays has dropped to 55 years old - the lowest in six years - the average adult age of a Royal Caribbean new-to-cruise family guest is just 42 - more than 13 years younger than the industry average.

The rapidly growing UK and Ireland cruise industry is set to see a record-breaking two million passengers this year with more than one in 10 holidaymakers (13 per cent) planning a cruise in the next 12 months. Royal Caribbean believes it’s the ‘Generation Thrill and Chill’ families who are leading this growth, with families now representing one in four Royal Caribbean guests. It is predicted that Royal Caribbean passenger numbers will grow by a further 63 per cent over the next five years.

Speaking at the annual ABTA Travel Conference in The Azores, Ben Bouldin, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International, said: “Over 1.9 million UK holiday makers took a cruise in 2016, and figures indicate similar growth in 2017. There appears to be three main triggers for why younger, new-to-cruise families are booking cruise holidays with us: the ability to visit multiple destinations whilst alsobeing able to relax and chill and experience fun and adventure along the way. We call them ‘Generation Thrill-and-Chill’ and they now make up a quarter of all our guests in the UK.

“Interestingly we also see they have a strong propensity to re-book with us – 10 per cent return within a year, 17 per cent within two years and over a quarter (21 per cent) in three years. We believe that’s because our ships offer an onboard experience unlike any other, from zip-wires and sky-diving to world-class dining and health and wellbeing facilities. When matched with the promise of seeing multiple cultures and destinations, it’s an extraordinary experience that we believe no other holiday company can boast.”

Latest Royal Caribbean figures also showed that in 2016 group bookings made up of friends and family accounted for 20 per cent of all passengers onboard and almost one-third (32 per cent) of those were new-to-cruise.

Growth from the new-to-cruise customers was projected to remain strong for 2017 with nearly half (48 per cent) of non-cruisers expressing interest in taking an ocean cruise.

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