Major players in the inland water passenger transport market are American Commercial Lines LLC, Ingram Industries, Jeffboat, European Cruise Service, Alnmaritec Ltd., Bayliner, Groupe Beneteau, CIWTC, CMA CGM Group, and Carnival Corporation.
The global inland water passenger transport market is expected to grow from $0.73 billion in 2020 to $0.76 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.1%. The growth is mainly due to the companies rearranging their operations and recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $0.91 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 4.6%.
The inland water passenger transport market consists of sales of inland water passenger transportation and related services by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that provide inland water transportation of passengers on lakes, rivers, or intra coastal waterways.
In October 2020, Hornblower Group, a USA-based leading yacht and public dining cruise company acquired Shore Excursions of America for an undisclosed amount.Through this acquisition, Hornblower Group plans to expand its land excursion portfolio while further creating a more seamless booking process for agents and consumers.
Shore Excursions of America (SEA) is a USA-based provider of cruise extension packages, shore excursions, and uniquely inclusive exploration travel.
The inland water passenger transport market covered in this report is segmented by passenger transportation type into canal passenger transportation, intercostal transportation of passengers, lake passenger transportation, water shuttle services, river passenger transportation, ship chartering with the crew, water taxi services, by mode into cruise ships, cargo-passenger ship, ferry ships, others.
Companies in the inland water passenger transport market are increasingly implementing technology for enhancing the passenger and guest experience on-board.Cruise and ferry boats are among the first inland water passenger ships to adopt and integrate the technology.
For instance, in February 2019, MSC cruise has installed virtual personal assistants ZOE in all guest cabins on-boards.Similarly, in February 2019, European ferry operator Stena Line has created a new chatbot named Stina to provide UK customers with 24/7 assistance and help them to book ferry trips.
Moreover, in July 2019, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines introduced an onboard app with SimpleClick, a software development agency to deliver information about the cruise, activities, and meals with limited connectivity.
The rising use of boats through inland waterways as a means of providing sightseeing services is expected to drive the inland water passenger transport market.There are many places such as The Mine Bay Rock Carvings in New Zealand, Horizontal Falls in Australia, Agia Roumeli in Greece, and others that are not accessible by roads but only through waterways, generating higher demand for inland water passenger transport services.
According to Voies navigables de France, the French navigation authority, in 2018, sightseeing vessels carried 11 million passengers and employed 1,440 people in France. Moreover, according to the European Barge Union Annual Report 2019-2020, the number of cruise passengers on European rivers increased by 9.9%, reaching 1.79 million passengers. Hence, an increase in the use of boats through inland waterways for sightseeing is boosting the inland water passenger transport market.
Safety issues associated with boat services operating on inland waterways like rivers, lakes, and others are expected to limit the growth of the inland water passenger transport market.Traveling by boat in inland waterways is always associated with risks.
Overloading, or even minor negligence, can lead to an unfortunate incident that could lead to a loss of life.According to 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics published by US Coast Guard, in 2019, 4,168 accidents including 2,559 injuries, 613 deaths, and about $55 million property damage was reported due to recreational boating accidents.
In addition to this, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, in August 2020, Australia reported 83 incidents, involving domestic commercial vessels. Factors such as overcrowding, not maintaining proper safety measures, natural disasters, the sudden climate change are reasons for poor safety for passengers, restricting the growth of the inland water passenger transport market.
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