By Simon Bond

We have recently been keeping you abreast of growth in the cruise markets, which caught our eye due to the significant increases in internet capacity growth in the marine industry generally. Specifically, capacity in this sector of the market continues to ramp up and see hockey stick like growth.

Interestingly, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently released its annual 2017 State of the Cruise Industry Outlook and Cruise Travel Trends Forecast.

It finds cruising continues to boom, despite relative economic uncertainty in 2017, not to mention the untested waters of President-elect Donald Trump's policies.

From 2017 to 2026, the industry will produce 97 new cruise ships at an investment spend of $US53 billion. CLIA finds another key cruising trend is the continued rise of river cruising, with 13 new river cruise ships on order for 2017 – an increase of about seven per cent to the existing inventory.

"Global cruising – especially luxury cruising – is on the rise," Senior Vice-President and Managing Director Asia Pacific at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Chairman CLIA Australasia, Mr Steve Odell, told The Australian Financial Review.

"Over one million Australians took a cruise in 2015, up 15 per cent on the previous year and making Australia the fourth largest source market in the world." 

The Caribbean and the Mediterranean remain the two most popular regions for ship deployments.

However, Australasia is increasing its share year on year, Mr Odell said. In 2016, 9.1 per cent of all ships deployed worldwide visited Asia and Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

The most favoured destinations for Australian cruisers remain within the region, topped by the South Pacific, followed by Australia. The number of Australians cruising to New Zealand rose by 13.5 per cent recently to break through the 100,000 mark for the first time, while the number of Australians taking an ocean cruise in Asia jumped 71.5 per cent.

The amount of spending on domestic travel is also soaring to record highs. 

Aussies splashed out just under $60 billion on domestic overnight travel in the year to the end of September, up five per cent on the previous 12 months, a Tourism Research Australia report says. Caravan parks and camping grounds are also very popular, particularly among families and adult couples. 

The number of nights spent in caravan parks jumped by a fifth, with a near-50 per cent increase reported for those who went off the beaten track for a spot of free camping. 

Interstate holiday spots were hot locations for those on staycations, with a record 11.1 million trips made and spending up 14 per cent to $16 billion. 

The number of Australians holidaying overseas rose seven per cent to 5.9 million in the year.


   - Spending on domestic overnight trips up 5% to $59.8 billion. 

   - Domestic daytrips up 7% to $19.3 billion. 

   - Total annual tourism spend up 6% to $117.9 billion. 

   - NSW had 29.1 million visitors, with $16.5 billion spent. 

   - Victoria attracted 21.7 million visitors, with $12 billion spent. 

   - Qld had 20.1 million visitors, with $14.7 billion spent. 

   (Source: Tourism Research Australia) AAP Belinda Tasker