Mediterranean cruises taken by 27 million in 2013

'Sector growing, despite blow from Concordia accident in 2012'

14 March, 17:49

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 14 - Over 27 million people took a cruise in the Mediterranean in 2013, 4.22% more than the previous year, according to MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports. The association released its latest annual report on Thursday at a sector fair in Miami. Analyzing the last five years, the study underscored significant growth in the cruise market, which has risen by about 24% since 2009 and saw two-digit growth in 2010 and 2011.

    The only recent year in which there was a decrease was 2012, when passengers dropped by 3.6%. MedCruise attributed the poor performance that year to the Concordia accident, ''which affected the entire region''. The repercussions of the sinking of the Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island Giglio are also evinced from the number of stops made, which dropped by 5.6% in 2012. The good news, however - the report stated - was that the decline seems temporary and that there are signs of potential future growth.

    In 2013 the number of stops rose by 3.78% to 14,428, very close to the pre-Concordia results (14,726 in 2011). The large ports that cruise ships stop in experienced average growth of 10%. In the top five - led by Barcelona with 2.6 million passengers - there are the Italian ports Civitavecchia (a close second with over 2.5 million passengers), Venice and Naples. The best performance last year in terms of passenger volumes was Marseilles (sixth port, +33%), followed by Genoa (+32%), the ninth top port for cruise ships in the Mediterranean. (ANSAmed).

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