THE cruise industry will not only survive the economic downturn but will take a larger share of the holiday market once it is over, according to Carnival UK chief executive David Dingle.

Speaking at Complete Cruise Solution's annual Cruise Awards, Dingle talked up the sector's prospects despite admitting cruiselines were having to work harder and be more aggressive on price to secure business. “The longer term prospects in the industry remain very good indeed,” he maintained. “Cruises are still growing faster than ever before. “It might not be expressed in bookings now as much as we would like but we will see demand come through. “The sort of people most likely to cruise are growing steadily in numbers and are equipped to weather that storm.” Dingle said the company remained committed to launching more ships, adding that the cruise sector would end up with a “much bigger share of the holiday market”. To survive, cruise companies had to invest wisely, he added.

Ports also have to invest to cater for the growing business. “I am confident we will work our way through by sharpening our business by being efficient and effective and if we do this we will come out a better business.”

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