The North American cruise industry continued to expand its contribution to the U.S. economy in 2011 according to an independent study commissioned by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Worldwide, 16.3 million people took cruise vacations on CLIA member lines in 2011, an increase of 10.1 percent over the previous year. U.S. cruise passengers totalled 10.4 million, or 63.5 percent.
Direct purchases by CLIA’s 26 member lines and their passengers and crew totalled approximately $19 billion resulting in $40.4 billion in total economic impact.
The related cruise industry spending generated nearly 350,000 jobs paying $16.5 billion in wages to American workers.
After a strong rebound in 2010 from the recessionary impacts of 2009, the North American cruise industry continued to expand in 2011 at a pace that matched the growth for key operating metrics the previous year.
The continuing expansion allowed the industry to reach new highs for capacity and the number of passengers sailing on CLIA member cruise lines, with the North American cruise industry outpacing the growth of overall economic activity in the U.S. America continued to be the economic driver for the industry, providing close to two-thirds of all global passengers and 60 percent of all cruise embarkations.
“In this uncertain economic environment, we are pleased to demonstrate the importance of the North American cruise industry to the U.S. economy in creating jobs and positively impacting the residents of all 50 states through direct and indirect spending,” said Christine Duffy, CLIA’s president and CEO.
“These findings are further evidence that the industry’s ability to provide outstanding choice and value that resonate strongly with consumers work in beneficial ways for the country’s economy as well.”