Eric Marx reports on how cruise operators are working to defuse their biggest sustainability challenges
Looking back at 2018, the travel industry will likely celebrate another year of record growth.
Roughly 1.3 billion overseas trips were made by travellers last year, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Globally, that’s a doubling of the numbers just since 2000.
Yet amidst the celebrations the industry is now also hearing another sound: municipalities bemoaning how tourist hoards are crowding out locals in popular destinations, particularly Mediterranean port cities. The pressure is especially fierce for the world’s 20 hottest tourist destinations, which have an increasing proportion of the market. By 2020 it is forecast that they will see more visitors than the rest of the world combined.
In Europe alone, the cruise market has grown by 49% in the past 10 years
The fast-growing cruise industry is seen as the prime offender. Some port cities are putting limits on cruise ship arrivals. Santorini in Greece is one example. Others include Barcelona, Ibiza and Majorca.
In January, a new €8 tax on “day-tripper” cruise passengers came into effect in Amsterdam, prompting two cruise lines, MSC Cruises and Cruise and Maritime Voyages, to cancel future stops in the city.
The Venetian government has also supported a proposal to impose a €10 tax...