Expedition cruise sector says UK market growth is ‘key priority’ for 2024

Growth of the UK market is a “key priority” for the expedition cruise sector, according to a survey released by the Expedition Cruise Network.

As part of the ECN’s half-yearly review, its members were invited to participate in a survey and share data on bookings, client concerns, and market growth.

Twelve of the network’s 23 members gave feedback, reporting general trends of increasing demand for longer sailings, larger groups and luxury and wellness experiences in the first six months of 2024 compared to the same period last year.

Asked how members’ UK market growth in the compares to the international market, 17% said they saw “significantly more” growth from the UK and 8% said they saw “more”. Meanwhile, 42% said UK market growth was the same as international and 25% said it grew less.

All those surveyed said UK market growth is a “key priority” for 2024.

Polar destinations, particularly Antarctica, are growing in popularity, members reported, while interest is “strong” for Iceland, Scotland, Indonesia and Galapagos itineraries.

Martin Johnson, ECN chair and co-founder, shared the results at an event in London on June 13.

“To reflect the growth of the expedition cruise sector in the UK, we’re delighted to present the ECN six-monthly review of 2024, which has seen two roadshows, a burgeoning programme of training webinars, the launch of two new training bootcamps, the launch of an Antarctica selling guide and the launch of the first dedicated expedition cruise conference to be held in October,” he said.

“This has been an incredible six months for the expedition cruise sector in the UK and we are keen to progress and support our members and the trade that sells the products in the most sustainable way possible.”

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