In the last decade, demand for cruising across the globe has increased 77 per cent, from 12 million to 21.3 million passengers.
New data released by the Cruise Lines International Association show that worldwide, cruise industry expenditures generated $117 billion in total economic contributions, supporting the employment of 891,009 full-time equivalent employees with total wages of $38.47 billion.
“The cruise industry is truly global, bringing together a diverse mix of international passengers and crew to experience exciting itineraries, multiple destinations, and exceptional holiday vacation value on every continent,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA president.
“With so many fun options and a high return on vacation experience, it’s not surprising that the popularity of cruise holidays continues to grow.
“This study shows that the cruise industry’s growth is also generating increased jobs, income, and revenue in all regions of the world.”
The independent report is the first to assess the worldwide economic impact of the cruise industry.
Commissioned by CLIA from Business Research and Economic Advisers, The Global Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism 2013 found that 21.31 million cruise passengers embarked from ports around the world last year.
In addition, 55 per cent of global passengers are sourced from North America, including 10.92 million that reside in the US, while 30 per cent of passengers reside in Europe.
Germany and Great Britain were the largest European markets.
“The figures published today show that nearly 45 per cent of the industry’s 2013 global output was generated in Europe,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, chairman of CLIA Europe.
“Unquestionably, the cruise industry today is a key contributor to Europe’s economic recovery, creating real jobs and growth at a time when both are hard to come by.
“With more Europeans choosing to cruise, more tourists cruising in European waters and more cruise ships being built in European ship yards, the weight of our industry in Europe can only continue to increase in years to come.”
The average length of a cruise is seven days, with three to four port calls CLIA found.