02-11-2011G. ALOMAR

Last Saturday, 17,000 cruise passengers sailed into Palma and traffic is tipped to continue growing.With the Balearics, with Palma leading the way,  the second most popular cruise destination inSpain, the  authorities have got to keep ahead of the competition with the cruise industry in Europe destined for further growth.
The cruise industry, once seen as the preserve of elderly Americans, is undergoing a renaissance.
Passenger numbers are soaring as younger Europeans take to the high seas.
They are likely to be joined on deck by newly affluent Chinese holiday makers, as the economy there powers ahead.
Once viewed as the archetypal retirement pastime, families with young children have taken to cruises as a way of visiting several countries in a single holiday period without having continually to pack and unpack.
Europe is the second largest cruise market in the world after North America, with European traveller numbers up 44 per cent to 6.4million in 2013 during the five years from 2008.
In that time, the industry has grown in value by 22 per cent and is now worth more than 39billion euros.
North American cruise passenger numbers have jumped by 44 per cent although the share of the total market has fallen from 70 per cent to 55 per cent in 2013, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.
The industry created work for 165,000 across Europe, in jobs ranging from entertainers to travel agents with  the UK leading the way in terms of passengers on cruise ships in Europe.


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