Holidays on water in great demand
The success story that is sea and river cruises continues, as confirmed by the Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen (Cruises and ShipTravel) event which took place during Stuttgart's holiday exhibition, CMT. “Our visitors and exhibitors were very impressed. We were able to demonstrate all that aquatourism has to offer during the trade fair,” says Marie Homburg, Project Manager for Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen . “In addition to cruises on the high seas, there were plenty of exhibitors showcasing river cruises and sailing holidays, yacht charters and houseboat holidays, as well as offers for obtaining a sport boat licence.” These were the highlights that really impressed the visitors and garnered positive feedback. The presence of the German Navy generated plenty of interest, as did the première of the “Marina Summit” during the Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen event. And with good reason. “More than 12,000 municipalities in Germany have some connection with a body of water,” explained Prof. Heiner Haass, expert on structural works in the pleasure boat sector and organiser of the summit. With his institute, he has been advising towns and municipalities for more than 30 years on maritime topics such as, for example, the construction of berths or the development of holistic tourism concepts in or around bodies of water. As part of the Marina Summit, he presented the current situation regarding aquatourism in Germany and provided examples of how municipalities and towns can use their connection to water to boost their own image. The goal of the Marina Summit had been to identify this potential and to provide concrete suggestions on how to further promote the tourist attractions.
Comprehensive programme for trade fair visitors
Around 30,000 visitors attended the Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen event, as well as the Golf and WellnessTravel event taking place at the same time, in order to find out more about these special types of holiday. Those visitors asked were mainly interested in the topic of cruises (51%), followed by ship travel (23%), river cruises (20%), houseboat holidays (12%) and sailing trips (9%). They allowed themselves plenty of time for their trade fair visit, making the most of their time. 87% of those asked indicated that they would very likely be attending the trade fair again next January. And 93% confirmed that they would recommend Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen to family, friends and colleagues. Most visitors travelled a distance of up to 100 kilometres (78%) to reach Stuttgart, 5% even came from more than 300 kilometres away. On average, the trade fair visitors are in their late 40s and have a monthly net household income of around €3,650. Going on holiday is an important part of their lives. 60% go on holiday twice a year, a quarter go three times a year and 7% even head off on holiday more than four times a year. It is highly likely that at least one cruise trip is included here.
“Diversity in the cruise travel sector is not a trend, but rather a recipe for success. The classic cruise passenger no longer exists – and this is a good thing. There is now a cruise to suit every holidaymaker: from the adventure-seeker to the connoisseur, from the sun worshipper to the polar lights observer. This variety was impressively demonstrated at the trade fair,” confirmed Helge Grammerstorf, National Director of CLIA Deutschland. Cruises have now become mainstream. Unsurprising, then, that the Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen event was tipped as a highlight of CMT by both visitors and exhibitors alike. The satisfaction of the exhibitors was reflected in excellent trade fair figures. The general impression given at the stands was that people are very interested in holidaying on water and were thus very open to what was on offer.
High praise for the quality of visitors
Andrea Hendel, Head of Sales Germany/Austria at Compagnie du Ponant, was delighted with the response at the trade fair: “This is already our sixth time here at Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen in Stuttgart and, as ever, it has not disappointed. We got off to a great start and are particularly excited about the excellent quality of our visitors and how well prepared they are. We very much appreciate the interesting discussions that have been held. We are impressed by the concept of the exhibition and will be returning again next year.” Roland Mössner, Member of the Executive Board at mm-Bootstouristik und Bootvermittlung: “We are thrilled, as we are every year, and already planning for the next event. We noticed the immense interest right from the first few days. The exhibition is organised brilliantly and the support from the exhibition team is, as ever, impeccable.” Maria Mosienko, Sales and Marketing Manager at Poseidon Expeditions: “Our time at the trade fair was what can only be described as a success. We are met with an extremely high quality of visitor at this event. The visitors know what they want and make a beeline for our stand. We have had an excellent time and are now looking forward to starting the season.”
The cruise sector is booming and the shipping companies are having difficulty finding capacity in the shipyards for new projects. According to Cruise Lines International Association CLIA, the European market grew at a rate of nine per cent to reach 5.4 million cruise passengers in the first nine months of 2019. The German cruise market, with 1.77 million passengers from January to September, has thus remained the largest across Europe. “Gaining an additional 18 per cent when compared to the same period last year, the German market has seen significantly stronger growth than the entire European market (+8%),” explains CLIA Director Helge Grammerstorf. Most German cruise passengers travel to northern Europe and the Baltic Sea (together, 34% total passengers), followed by the Mediterranean (23.8%) and the Canary Islands (10.8%). “We have found that there is also a greater interest among German passengers for long-haul holidays to Asia, the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean,” continues Grammerstorf. 278 cruise ships from 55 shipping companies with CLIA membership should be sailing the world's oceans by the end of this year; 19 new ships alone will be added to this global fleet in 2020. The European boom for cruise holidays has also long included river cruises. The shipyards are busy building new boats and, if the figures from the river cruise sector are anything to go by, this appears to be justified. The river cruise market is steadily increasing by almost ten per cent every year, as regularly confirmed by the cruises report from the German Travel Association (DRV).
The Kreuzfahrt- und Schiffs-Reisen 2021 will be taking place from 28 to 31 January at Messe Stuttgart.
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