Cruise ports operator forecasts strong demand for 2024

Cruise ports operator forecasts strong demand for 2024

Sector recovers from pandemic with record bookings

The world’s largest private ports operator, Global Ports Holding (GPH), expects to beat cruise passenger forecasts in the financial year to March 2024.

GPH also expects numbers to rise over the following 12 months as two more facilities in the Caribbean join its portfolio.

Publishing record financial results for the half-year to 30 September 2023, the company reported that the global cruise industry has recovered from the Covid pandemic, with industry occupancy rates now back to pre-pandemic levels, and booking volumes across the industry remaining strong for the 2024 season, with major cruise lines reporting record booking volumes and prices.

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GPH also highlighted that while high inflation and rising interest rates globally have led to an uncertain economic outlook, the longer lead time on cruise bookings compared to land-based tourism provides significant protection to the cruise industry during periods of macro stress, with passenger volumes rarely negatively impacted.

A half-year pre-tax profit of US$3.4 million was achieved for the summer period against a loss of US$4.4 million in the same time last year as passenger numbers using GPH's ports rose by 54% year-on-year to 6.7 million. 


Chairman and chief executive Mehmet Kutman said: “We have experienced higher than expected passenger volumes, driven by a faster recovery in occupancy rates across our port network. We currently expect to welcome at least 12.5 million passengers across our consolidated and managed ports in the 12 months to 31 March 2024, which compares favourably to our initial expectation of 11.8 million.

"Our consolidated and management ports are expected to welcome close to 14 million passengers in the 12 months to 31 March 2025, with passenger volumes rising to exceed 16 million once San Juan cruise port and St Lucia cruise port join the network. This will take our annual total passenger volume across all ports in the GPH cruise port network – including equity accounted ports – to close to 20 million.”

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