Rich Higginson, principal of BREA, shares the results of the study at the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show (Image: FCCA)
Cruise tourism directly generated a record US$3.36 billion in the Caribbean and Latin America in the 2017-2018 cruise season – more than a 6% rise from 2015 – according to new statistics from the Florida-Caribbean Association (FCCA).
The Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies study, which is conducted by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) every three years, found that the cruise industry was more profitable than ever, despite two major hurricanes in September and October 2017.
FCCA and BREA found that the 36 cruise destinations that participated in the study hosted a total of 29.6 onshore visits in the 2017-2018 season – a 5.2% rise from 2015. Cruise passengers embarked on the shore 25.2 million times, spending a total of US$2.56 billion over the season. Meanwhile, crew made a total of 4.4 million shore visits and spent around US$60 each time, producing US$265.7 million overall.
Cruise lines spent an average of US$14.8 million per destination, totalling US$534 million.
The cruise industry also supported almost 79,000 jobs across the 36 destinations that participated in the study, a growth of 5.2% from 2015.
“We could not be prouder of these results and what they mean for all of our neighbours and partners throughout the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Michele Paige, FCCA president. “Beyond showing what cruise tourism brings to these destinations’ economies, which was crucial in restoring lives and communities following last year’s historic hurricane season, many of the findings will also serve as the foundation of building further mutual success between cruise lines and destination stakeholders.”
The study did not take into account the indirect benefits of cruise tourism, including supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, and spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests.
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