WASHINGTON — Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21 billion in the U.S. in 2014, up 16% since 2010 and representing a new peak in U.S. cruise industry expenditures, according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the largest cruise industry trade association and the leading authority of the global cruise community.
CLIA’s 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, an independent study commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that total contributions of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $46.09 billion in 2014, up 4.5% from the previous year. This includes generating 373,738 U.S. jobs paying more than $19 billion in wages and salaries.
“The global cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy and we see evidence of the industry’s positive effect spreading across the country,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA’s acting CEO. “In each of the 50 states, we saw cruise lines purchasing goods or services in support of their operations, and passengers travelLing for their cruise vacations. The cruise industry is thriving and making an important economic contribution.”
According to CLIA’s study, more than 11 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from U.S. ports in 2014, setting a new high and marking the largest increase (11%) in 10 years.
The top 10 U.S. cruise ports accounted for 88% of 2014 embarkations, and Florida accounted for 62% of all U.S. embarkations. Embarkations in California’s four ports totaled 984,000 in 2014, a 49% increase.
“Florida remains the centre of cruising in the United States, but we saw tremendous growth in California’s ports,” said D’Aoust. “California’s increase was primarily driven by a rebound in cruises originating in Los Angeles and Long Beach. These ports saw increased embarkations as more three- and four-day cruises were offered, addressing cruise consumers’ desire for short getaways and additional options.”
CLIA’s study shows that globally, demand for cruising worldwide increased 68% in the last 10 years, from 13.14 million passengers in 2004 to 22.04 million passengers in 2014. Since 2013, demand grew 3.4%. Globally, cruise industry expenditures generated $119.9 billion in total output, supporting 939,232 full-time equivalent employees who earned $39.3 billion in income.
“The cruise industry is truly a global and dynamic industry,” said D’Aoust. “We’ve enjoyed progressive growth over the last 30 years, driven initially by demand from North America, which expanded to Europe, Australia and now Asia. As a result, the cruise industry today impacts the global economy, generating jobs, income and business growth in all regions of the world.”