Speaking at the ABTA Travel Convention today Stuart Leven, managing director UK and Ireland, Royal Caribbean International, shared his vision for travel 2030.
In 2002 the cruise industry attracted 800,000 passengers – in 2016 that has grown to 1.7 million, so anticipate unprecedented growth by 2030.
As for Royal Caribbean, Leven explained how technology is driving greater efficiency and sustainability. Only this week the company announced that two new ships coming online 2022 and 2024 will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the use of fuel cell technology, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Leven also shared how the introduction of robotic and other state of the art technology has enabled the introduction of West End shows like Cats and Mamma Mia as well as creating the new theatre of Royal Caribbean’s iconic bionic bars.
He amused the convention with his definition of the dated stereotype of future guests, ‘newly weds, over fed, nearly dead’, instead future cruisers were likely to be less formal, younger, including more family groups.
3 years ago the average cruiser was 54 , now it’s 45. The customer of the future will be looking for both destination and experience. So innovative on ship experiences like the sky diving machine, is bridging that gap through more sophisticate matching of ship and customer.
In terms of the future, he anticipates sector growth in Asia and Australia, further development in the Mediterranean, and in currently largely untapped India.
So what will 2030 look like? Leven’s analysis – more destinations, a greater range of on board experiences, more customers and more highly skilled agents.