The cruise industry in the United States had a nearly $53 billion impact in 2018, a figure that is a 10 percent increase from two years earlier.
Newly released data from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association, indicates that the industry is an increasingly dominant player in the U.S. tourism sector.
CLIA’s 2018 Economic Impact Analysis says nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from ports in the United States in 2018, which is an increase of nearly nine percent from 2016.
“There’s no doubting the enormity of the cruise industry’s contributions to the U.S. and global economies. The 2018 Economic Impact Analysis highlights the incredible impact the industry continues to have on American businesses and individuals, as well as the growing popularity of cruising amongst passengers of all nationalities and backgrounds,” Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president, and CEO, said in a statement.
With increased embarkations come increased onshore spending, said CLIA. In 2018, cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record of $23.96 billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010.
Additionally, 2018 saw a new peak in the cruise industry’s U.S. expenditures, generating 421,711 jobs across the United States and contributing more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13 percent increase since 2016.
“Combined, these numbers reflect the growing consensus cruising has evolved into a mainstream choice for travelers of all means and backgrounds, as well as a leader in the tourism sector,” said CLIA.
The industry association also acknowledged that with growth comes added responsibility to ensure that the destinations visited remain a welcoming and beautiful place to both live and visit for generations to come.
2018 Economic Impact Analysis by the Numbers
—Total U.S. Economic Impact: The U.S. cruise industry had an economic impact of over $52.7 billion in total 2018 contributions – marking an increase of over 10 percent since 2016.
—Direct Impact: $23.96 billion in direct purchases made by passengers, crew, and cruise lines.
—Indirect & Induced Impact: $28.7 billion in indirect supply purchases and merchant payments, as well as induced economic benefits from cruise line and supplier purchases of consumer goods and services.
—Advancements in Embarkation: Nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from ports in the United States in 2018—an increase of nearly nine percent from 2016.
—Florida and California: With a total of nine cruise ports between them—the two states accounted for 68 percent of the U.S embarkations in 2018. Meanwhile, embarkations from the two cruise terminals in New York increased 12 percent since 2016 and ports in Galveston also experienced a 13 percent embarkation increase in 2018 compared to 2016.
—Increased Onshore Spending: In 2018, cruise lines, passengers and crew spent a record $23.96 billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010.
—U.S. Expenditures: The cruise industry generated 421,711 jobs across the United States and contributed more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13 percent increase since 2016.
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