Changing demands in cruising: a look towards what’s on the horizon

November 2022

Changing demands in cruising: a look towards what’s on the horizon Younger generation’s spending patterns are changing the shape of industries across the board with demand preferences unlike those of previous ones.

Millennial spending revolves heavily around demand for both convenience and authentic memorable experiences, prioritizing taking vacation days more so than previous generations.
Despite a long-held belief that only older people are interested in cruising, it has become increasingly important for the industry to adapt to the preferences of these new generations; especially as their purchasing power continues to grow.

Young people have the purchasing power
In terms of the highest purchasing power globally, Millennials take first place – and Gen Z are not far behind, with their income expected to exceed Millennials by 2031.
With 67% of the Saudi population aged Millennial or younger, attracting this demographic is of particular importance to CruiseSaudi – the entity driving the development of the cruise sector in Saudi.

‘But young people aren’t interested incruising…
It’s time to dispel the wrongly held notion that young people just aren’t interested in cruising, when in fact, Millennials already makeup around 20% of today’s cruise passengers and 85%of Millennials who have previously cruised are keen to cruise again. Moreover, 71% of Millennials who are yet to cruise, have expressed interest in going on a cruise should the opportunity arise- according to a survey conducted by CLIA.
At Cruise Saudi, we can see how this data correlates with the Saudi market. During our pilot season in 2020, 75% of the 20,000 local passengers we welcomed were Millennials or Gen Z - proving to us the demand for cruising from this demographic.

Adapting the approach: Same old, same old won’t work
A ‘one size fits all’ approach that may have worked for more traditional and predictable travelers will no longer be effective in attracting and catering to the demands of the younger generations.
Gen X and Boomers display high levels of brand loyalty, habitual purchasing, and price motivated decision-making. The demand patterns of Millennials and Gen Z take a different shape – for them, diversity is key. They prioritize experience over material things, value authenticity andexpect high-quality digitally enabled experiences they can tailor to their personal preferences.

In conclusion: offer the undiscovered, attract younger cruise travelers
Saudi is well placed to provide the authentic experiences that Millennial and Gen Z travelers are looking for. As an emerging tourist destination on the world stage, there is so much that is yet to be explored –and discovering Saudi by sea is a great way to experience what the country has to offer.
By working closely with tour operators to curate destination experiences accessible by sea, Cruise Saudi ensures we are connecting and catering to the demands of all cruise passengers visiting Saudi, including Millennials and Gen Z.

By Cruise Saudi

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