Cruises are in vogue and attract an increasing number of curious holidaymakers. At around two million passengers per year, Germany is Europe’s fastest growing cruise market (source: CLIA). However, other European countries are also expected to deliver further growth in passenger numbers – in particular as Europe is still lagging far behind the US in terms of annual cruise passenger numbers, which stood at 6.7 million in 2016 as against more than eleven million in the US. The clear cornerstones of the overall strategy pursued by TUI Group and its three cruise subsidiaries TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Thomson Cruises are modernisation and growth.
Cruises are a megatrend, already playing an immensely important role for TUI Group overall. They are one of the Group’s biggest growth drivers. On a full year basis, the Cruises and Hotels & Resorts segments already contribute 50 per cent of the Group’s operating result. In future, the Cruises segment is expected to play an even more important role as there are several trends indicating that cruise tourism will continue to boom. The benefits of cruising – the comfort of a fine hotel on the high seas, visits to six cities in seven days, leisure and sports programmes – are discovered by an increasing number of people, the target group is continually growing. Cruises also attract a growing number of young people, including Millennials and Generation X. At the same time, cruises are becoming more affordable and thus also attractive for families. They are also of the most popular and comfortable types of holiday for an increasing number of elderly people. Due to demographic change, this group also shows continuous growth.