Port Tampa Bay in Florida, USA, has released a new application to direct guests towards restaurants, shops, breweries and entertainment venues within walking distance of the port’s three cruise terminals.
The web-based platform allows guests to set a timer to ensure they can explore the city without missing ship boarding times. They can also set a personalised route, basing it around the Ybor City historic district or the Tampa riverwalk, and they can check parking options, all without downloading the app.
Port Tampa Bay homeports six vessels belonging to Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line and expects to host 260 sailings and more than 1.2 million cruise guests in 2023. The app will encourage more passengers to explore the area, which in turn will drive revenue for the local economy.
Recent research by Business Research & Economic Advisors found that a 2,500-passenger cruise ship with 1,000 crew members produces around $300,000 per call when homeporting. Port Tampa Bay brings approximately $627.8 million to the area each year and cruising accounts for 20 per cent of its revenue.
“Cruising from Port Tampa Bay has truly become a year-round benefit to the local economy,” said Paul Anderson, president and CEO at Port Tampa Bay. “Cruise guests love to take advantage of the attractions, dining, and shopping that are just steps away from our cruise terminals. We are fortunate to offer this unique benefit to guests, and are happy to support regional tourism and are delighted to continue to support our local business and community.”
Port Tampa Bay has also added a new ‘Cruise Destinations’ page to its website to showcase the destinations that its homeported vessels will travel to. The interactive map allows visitors to filter destinations by cruise line and directs them to a booking page via the cruise line’s official site.