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You dock in port after port, crisscrossing the Mediterranean -- from the canals of Venice to the red roofs of Dubrovnik and back. Or you travel down the German Rhine or beach-hop in the Caribbean.


At each spot, you spend anywhere from a few hours to a day. Sometimes you don't even get off the boat. When you do, you're part of crowds of tourists, battling to see the views, scrambling to admire the sites.

The cruise ship industry is booming. Ships are getting bigger, better, more exciting and more experience-driven. At the same time, ports are getting busier and more polluted, and residents are getting angrier. In , 30 million passengers are expected to cruise, up from So what impact are they having on destinations , and what can be done about it?

the Cruise & Travel group - Malta - the Cruise and Travel group - Malta

Cruising's not a new phenomenon , but over the past decade it's taken a new lease on life. In Venice, the No Grandi Navi movement has been campaigning against cruise ships for several years. Certainly it's true that cruise ships are just one part of a multifaceted issue. Recent years have seen a general rise in tourism, much of it concentrated in the same places. According to the World Tourism and Travel Council , of the 1.

Social media's probably playing a role too. Plus, alongside more cruisers, there's more availability of budget flights. Still, some parties concerned about the tourism crush point the finger directly at cruise ships because they say they encourage day trips where visitors are less likely to inject money into the destination's economy if they only stay a few hours. Meanwhile, the scheduled arrival times of cruise ships mean thousands of visitors surge on a city all at once, rather than the flow of travelers being more spread out across the day.


There have also been concerns raised about pollution. Venetian Jane da Mosto, co-founder and executive director at We Are Here Venice , a non-profit association that aims to address issues plaguing the Italian city, is unflinching in her assessment of how cruise ships impact the city. A much-talked-about incident in which the MSC Opera cruise ship collided with a smaller ship in Venice's lagoon , concerns about sustainability and outcry from residents sick of cruise vessels have prompted Venice's recent decision to redirect ships away from the confines of the main lagoon.

The Italian transport minister announced that larger ships will be rerouted towards Fusina and Lombardia terminals.

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Cruise ships might funnel thousands of people to destinations, but the companies don't operate in a vacuum. Griffiths, of industry organization CLIA, points out that itineraries are planned two years in advance and organized in collaboration with destination officials. The organization is the voice of the industry, and wields significant power. Griffiths acknowledges this, and says the association is keen to evolve with the times.

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As for the economy question, he says the idea that cruise ships don't bring money to a destination is a "misunderstanding. On top of that, we use local people to deliver excursions. It may not be seen in the local pizzeria or the local bar. But actually we're still investing very heavily in the destinations we visit.

Tourism trade is integral in many of the cities that are feeling the brunt of overtourism.

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Opponents would argue it's not all about money, though. What about the impact of the crowds? It's not just locals who notice crowds flocking in droves to Barcelona's Sagrada Familia or traipsing across Dubrovnik's Old Town walls. Visitors feel the effects too.

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The double-decked cruise is 30-metre long and have a total capacity of 110 passengers.

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The report offers a look at the trends impacting cruise travel throughout and beyond as well as the overall global economic impact. Cruising continues at a paced growth around the world with an almost 7 percent increase from to , totaling In this report, you will find estimates of the global economic contribution of cruise tourism in Travel Professionals As the global cruise industry trade association, CLIA provides you with the best benefits, tools and resources to navigate the cruise industry, attract more clients and increase your earnings.

Learn More. Upcoming Events View All. Sept 24 Sept 26 Sept 28 WeAreCruise Behind the research, statistics and economic impact reports, there are stories about real people, families, livelihoods and how cruise travel benefits entire communities in unique ways.