Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Report: Cruise Lines Important to US Economy

By Mark Edward Nero

New data released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Sept. 15 show that the North American cruise industry continued to expand in 2013, generating employment, income and other economic benefits throughout the US economy.

“This study shows the cruise industry is an important economic contributor, supporting businesses and jobs across America, from travel agents who help their clients select from a diverse array of exciting cruise choices, to the businesses in every state that provide products and services to cruise lines,” CLIA President and CEO Christine Duffy said in a statement announcing the findings.

Duffy noted that on a global basis, over the ten years from 2003 to 2013, demand for cruising worldwide increased 77 percent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers. Globally, cruise industry expenditures generated $117 billion in total output, requiring 891,009 full-time equivalent employees who earned $38.47 billion in income.

The report found that total contributions of the cruise industry to the US economy in 2013 reached a record $44.1 billion and that the cruise industry supported 363,133 US jobs, paying wages of $18.3 billion.

The study also found that nearly 10 million cruise passengers embarked at US ports, representing 57 percent of the North American cruise industry’s global embarkations; and that US-based direct spending by cruise lines, passengers, and crew totaled $20.1 billion, nearly double expenditures made in 2000.

Although California had more than 600,000 embarkations in 2013, Florida was the center of cruising in the United States, with its five cruise ports accounting for nearly 62 percent of all US embarkations during the year.

An executive summary and the full study are available online at www.cruising.org.