Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record US$21 billion in the US last year, a 16% rise from 2010, according to a new study from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
CLIA’s 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, which was conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors, showed that total contributions of the global cruise industry to the US economy reached a record US$46.09 billion in 2014, a rise of 4.5% from 2013. The industry also generated 373,738 US jobs, paying more than US$19 billion in wages.
“The global cruise industry is a critical contributor to the US economy and we see evidence of the industry’s positive effect spreading across the country,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA’s acting CEO. “In each of the 50 states, we saw cruise lines purchasing goods or services in support of their operations, and passengers travelling for their cruise vacations. The cruise industry is thriving and making an important economic contribution.”
According to CLIA’s study, more than 11 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from US ports in 2014, setting a new high and marking the largest increase (11%) in ten years.
The top ten US cruise ports accounted for 88% of 2014 embarkations. Florida was the busiest embarkation port, accounting for 62% of passengers, while embarkations in California’s four ports totalled 984,000, a 49% rise.
“Florida remains the centre of cruising in the US, but we saw tremendous growth in California’s ports,” said D’Aoust. “California’s increase was primarily driven by a rebound in cruises originating in Los Angeles and Long Beach. These ports saw increased embarkations as more three- and four-day cruises were offered, addressing cruise consumers’ desire for short getaways and additional options.”
CLIA’s report also showed that global demand for cruising has increased 68% over the past decade, from 13.14 million passengers in 2004 to 22 million in 2014. Since 2013, demand has grown 3.4%. Globally, cruise industry expenditures generated US$119.9 billion in total.
“The cruise industry is truly a global and dynamic industry,” said D’Aoust. “We’ve enjoyed progressive growth over the past 30 years, driven initially by demand from North America, which expanded to Europe, Australia and now Asia. As a result, the cruise industry today impacts the global economy, generating jobs, income and business growth in all regions of the world.”