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Cruise industry tops 20 million clients, focuses on Asia

Published on Jan 31, 2013 9:51 AM

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Cruise lines carried 20.3 million passengers last year and expect the numbers to rise in 2013 as more companies focus resources on luring Asian clients, industry experts said on Wednesday.

A year after the Costa Concordia disaster off the coast of Italy with the loss of 32 lives, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents cruise lines around the globe, said it expects to reach 20.97 million passengers this year.

"The industry is well positioned to continue with this trajectory," Ms Christine Duffy, CLIA's president and chief executive officer, told a news conference, adding that new policies have been introduced following a review after the accident.

The Caribbean, Mediterranean and Europe remain the top cruise destinations, with Americans and Canadians making up the bulk of passengers, but the industry is rapidly going global with Australia and Asia the big growth area.

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