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Chapter 3 The Cruise Industry

DOI: 10.23912/9781911635574-4462

ISBN: 9781911635574

Published: August 2020

Component type: chapter

Published in: The Impact of Tourism on the Marine Environment

Parent DOI: 10.23912/9781911635574-4283

Abstract

In many ways the cruise industry is the success story of modern tourism. Less than 30 years ago commentators were predicting its demise after years of slow and steady decline. It had become an object of ridicule with the oft repeated joke that its customers consisted just of the ‘newly-wed, overfed, and the nearly dead’. The hit US TV show, ‘Love Boat’, set on a cruise ship, and broadcast from 1977 to 1986 seemed to mirror the decline of traditional cruising; highly popular with audiences in its early days its ratings fell and it was axed after nine years in 1986. And then, in the early 1990s, cruising went through a period of change that can only be described as revolutionary. American brands led the way in over-hauling the whole cruise experience in line with how consumer society was changing, making cruising both affordable and attractive to a wider range of demographic groups. It was no longer just for the rich and the elderly; the industry reached out to people of all ages and means. The market responded enthusiastically, and the cruise market has been growing steadily ever since. Today, cruise operators invest billions in new ships and developing new onboard experiences that will put them ahead of their competitors. Most coastal tourist destinations with any kind of port or harbour facility seek to attract as many cruise ships as possible, fully aware of the spending power of cruise passengers when they come ashore. For their part consumers are very loyal to the cruise experiences with an increasing number of people enjoying several cruises every year. There are now cruise channels on satellite and cable television and specialist cruise magazines that focus solely on cruise products and destinations. However, in the past few years, some commentators have begun to view the cruise sector through more critical eyes. Its environmental impact has not come under scrutiny until recently, as most attention has focused on the more obvious target, aviation. However, several high-profile news stories have begun to shine a spotlight on the environmental impact of cruise ships. This scrutiny is likely to intensify as more and more public and media attention is focused on the plight of our oceans and the impacts on them of global warming.

Contributors

  • Professor John Swarbrooke, University of Plymouth, UK (Author)

For the source title:

  • Professor John Swarbrooke, University of Plymouth, UK (Author)

Cite as

Swarbrooke, 2020

Swarbrooke, P.J. (2020) "Chapter 3 The Cruise Industry" In: Swarbrooke, P.J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/9781911635574-4462

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