When people talk about Tourism & Leisure, most do not fully understand or grasp the extent of its global footprint, from guest houses, to hotels in the UK, Airlines that fly you off to exotic destinations such as the Maldives, or boarding a Cruise Ship to sail off into the sunset.
For this month’s topic, I will touch on two areas that I am deeply passionate about. One being the Cruise Industry and the other one being the Maldives, both sectors within the industry are about to experience an unprecedented growth.
Looking into the Cruise Sector, between now and 2027 a total of 125+ new ships are due to be launched.
“While the cruise ship orderbook for the expedition and luxury markets attract much attention, the market segments present only 2.6 percent of the cruise industry in terms of guest capacity, according to the 2019 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.
The current combined capacity of the luxury and expedition market is about 720,000 guests, which is less than the annual capacity of three Oasis-class ships sailing seven-day cruises. Oasis-class ships are currently the largest cruise ships at sea each weighing in at an astonishing 220,000 GRT with a maximum guest capacity of 6,200 spread over 16 decks, of family fun.
The dominating segment is the contemporary market with 68.6 percent of the annual global guest capacity, followed by the premium market at 21.7 percent, the budget market at 6.8 percent and niche cruises 2.3 percent.
“The projected 2019 global guest capacity for the cruise fleet is 27.8 million guests.”
So, in order to maintain this growth, it will require a number of crew, some who will be new to industry or seasoned sailors. Cruise Industry News predicts that approximately 80,000 Crew will need to be hired on a yearly basis to keep up with the demand of growth of the industry.
Moving over to the Indian Ocean, and the rapid growth of new resort development, 10 years ago in 2008, resorts number below 75 now that number is over 100, and the Maldivian Government have just announced another 35 new resorts to be built, developed and open within the next 3-5 years. This will require a total of 19,000 staff to be employed to keep up with this growth.
The Government currently have a work permit quota in place. Before the ration was 55% local and 45% expatriate that has now reversed, along with nationalities having to pay to gain work within the region. It is unfortunate that, today, we still hear stories of nationalities paying for a job!
The new Government of the Maldives is working hard to ensure transparency and to stamp out corruption. For a country that is just over 10 years into a democracy they have come a long way, yet still they have a way to go to ensure that the infrastructures are in place to support the projected growth of resort. Also, guest houses at local inhabited islands are aiming for the bite of the cherry and provide a unique experience.
Maldives is no longer a luxury destination that is unreachable by the many, yet now with low cost carries flying in from Asia the market is opening up at a rapid rate, as guests have the chance to savour a luxury experience, or stay at one of the many guest houses, that are operated by former employees and know how to deliver a great level of service.
About the author:
Neil Shorthouse FIH, is a passionate hospitality professional and a Fellow and Brand Ambassador of the Institute of Hospitality. Specialising in the South East Asia and the Cruise Industry, Neil boasts more than two decades of experience in creating industry-leading, revenue driving platforms for companies.
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