The newly expanded Cruise Lines International Association has announced more global growth as well as fresh promotional tools.
At a press conference Wednesday in New York City, Christine Duffy, the trade group’s president and CEO, said the number of people who cruised globally last year is estimated at 20.3 million. That number is expected to reach almost 21 million in 2013.
Duffy said CLIA has launched a new YouTube channel called Cruise Industry TV, which focuses on new destinations, ships, tips about cruising and other information about the industry. It is not open for consumers to post videos.
The association has also started a public relations campaign called Cruise Forward, which has a presence on Facebook. The goal is to highlight positive cruise line initiatives, including innovations to help protect the environment, investment in port infrastructures and destinations, charitable activities and the economic impact of cruising.
“We think that this is a very important and exciting way to tell the story of this global industry and its commitment and the work it does in communities that we serve,” Duffy said.
In a separate announcement, CLIA announced the addition of a new cruise group in Europe. In mid-December, the association said it would merge with other industry groups around the world to become one giant organization. The Dutch Cruise Council, with 16 member lines, recently agreed to join and will be called CLIA Netherlands. The association is also developing a German cruise council to be called CLIA Germany and councils in Italy and Spain.
The expanded CLIA now has 55 member cruise lines, more than twice as many as the 26 it represented in 2012. The latest, European operator Tauck River Cruises, joined earlier this month.