Cruise Shipping is one of the most dynamic and swiftest developing sectors of the tourism industry all around the globe. It is energetically emerging as a new marketable product. The tourism industry in the majority of the nations worldwide has been profoundly aided by the cruise sector to reform the tourism product and to satisfy the enthusiastic globetrotters.
The correspondence between the cruise industry and tourism industry is, however, an exceptionally complicated affair concerning a conglomeration of socio-economic dynamics, technological attributes, market pressures, government policies, management attitude, and tourist expectations.
The cruise industry is a soaring pivotal part of the employment structure of intricate industrial nations as well as developing economies. Many of the crucial players of the cruising industry have made landmark benefits to the economic growth and development of the country.
Cruise Passenger Statistics Around the Globe
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has divulged the modernistic global cruise passenger statistics implying that cruising continues at an ambulated growth around the globe with an almost seven percent hike from 2017 to 2018, evaluating 28.5 million passengers. CLIA notes that the average age of a cruise passenger is 47 years.
Studies also show that North American gadabouts continue to nuzzle cruising with an annual passenger upsurge by 9%, that is 14.2 million passengers in 2018.
While the cruise sector exemplifies two percent of the overall global travel industry, this section is on the same page with global tourism. According to the updated UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals grew 6% in 2018, estimating up to 1.4 billion while cruise travel hiked at almost seven percent during the same time.
According to The Maritime Executive, cruises in the Mediterranean are hiking upwards commercially with an eight percent increase from 2017 to 2018 estimates more than four million cruise passengers.
Passengers prefer cruises of stunted periods. The seven-day long cruise itineraries are up to nine percent while three-day and under sails are equally up 10 percent by the year 2018.
11.3 million of those cruise passengers sailed to the Caribbean in the year 2018, with an increment of six percent annually.
Alaska is fortunate to experience growth by double-digit with a 17 percent increment year-over-year by passengers in the year 2017 and the other 13 percent increment in the year 2018, accounting for more than one million cruisers traveling to this destination.
Compared to the rapid increases of the past, 2018 saw moderate cruise passenger growth throughout Asia and China with a five percent hike in cruise passengers from the region accounting for a still staggering 4.2 million.
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Environmental peril – The devil’s price?
Now, it might be a cliché ‘Titanic ‘honeymoon or a relaxing week away from the monotony of life; the devil has its ways, and the price is not low.
For your luxurious weekends, there is a high price to pay: the deterioration of the environment.
According to www.vox.com, the cruising industry has an inexorable repercussion on the environment. The ships are primarily floating residencies, cities, and many of them produce as much pollution as one of them does in real-time. In 2016, the Pacific Standard cited that “The carbon footprint of every individual passenger traveling while cruising is considered as three times what it would be on land.”
In the general run of things, ships use diesel engines, gas turbines, or a coalition of both. Diesel fuel is associated with air pollution as it produces high amounts of nitrogen oxide emissions, which have been related to respiratory diseases like asthma and, in the worst cases, lung cancer. Their high sulfur content is also detrimental to the environment since sulfur when conglomerated with water and air; it produces sulfuric acid, which is the main component of acid rain. Acid rain is responsible for deforestation, destroying aquatic life, and corroding building materials and priceless cultural heritage. But in recent years, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) released that all vessels must switch to cleaner fuel or alternatives with a lower sulfur composition in the year two thousand twenty.
However, apart from paying for more expensive but less sulfuric fuel, such as liquefied natural gas, cruise ships are adopting “emission cheat” systems, called scrubbers. A scrubber allows the vessel to wash cheap fuel and meet the IMO qualifications, then discharge the pollutants from the dirty fuel into the ocean.
This will add to the issue that a 3,000-person cruise ship generates 210,000 gallons of sewage per week. All cruise ship sewage goes through what is called “sewage treatment,” where solid and liquid waste is differentiated and sterilized. This solid waste is carbonized, and the liquid waste is released back into the ocean.
In 2016, Princess Cruises was fined with a penalty of $40 million for polluting the ocean by dumping 4,227 gallons of “oily wastage” off the coast of Britain, hampering marine life and hygiene as well. According to Klein, just this September, two cruise ship lines were charged with “unauthorized discharge of untreated greywater,” or a stream of sewage that comes from everywhere but the toilet.
The two most infamous cruise lines, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, both received a D grade from environmental advocacy group Friends of the Earth, which estimated the score based on sewage treatment, air pollution reduction, water quality compliance, and transparency.
More impervious fuel, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), is more excessive, and operators have preferred using scrubbers,wich is called “emission cheat” systems. These scrubbers wash cheap fuel to meet environmental standards but then discharge the pollutants collected directly into the ocean, which addresses the fundamental issue as it harms marine systems.
The ejection of sewage and other pollutants into the ocean has only intensified environmental groups and governments charged with its cleanliness, leading the decisions made by some in the cruise industry to produce more pollutants to be met with widespread criticism.
In conclusion, there exists a range of new technologies aimed at decreasing the waste produced by cruise liners, such as onboard carbonization plants, recycling programs, as well as cheaper, less polluting fuel options like LNG. However, without homogenized standards and strictly enforced international rules, the cruise and shipping industry is not likely to heed these calls for a sustainable and better future.