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Global Cruise Industry Contributes $2.2 Billion To California’s Economy, Up Nearly 20 Percent In One Year

October 22, 2015 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

The global cruise industry contributed $2.2 billion to California’s economy in 2014, increasing 19.2 percent since 2013 and accounting for 10.6 percent of the cruise industry’s spending nationwide, 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.  http://join.travelmanagers.com.au/

CLIA’s 2014 Economic Impact Analysis, an independent study commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that the cruise industry’s direct expenditures in California generated total[1] economic impacts of 44,369 jobs and $2.7 billion in wages and salaries.

“The cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy and we see evidence of the industry’s positive effect spreading into every state, with California near the helm,” said Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA’s acting CEO. “Some of the cruise industry’s economic impact growth in California can be attributed to the tremendous growth in passenger embarkations, which is primarily the result of increased capacity to the Mexico West cruise market, as well as an increase in the number of three- and four-day cruises offered, addressing cruise consumers’ desire for short getaways and additional options.”

Passenger Embarkations
Passenger embarkations in California increased 49 percent to 984,000 in 2014, marking the first increase in California embarkations in five years and representing 8.9 percent of total U.S. embarkations. In Long Beach, passenger embarkations rose 84 percent to 549,000 passengers. Embarkations in Los Angeles grew 36 percent to 291,000 passengers and San Francisco embarkations grew 30 percent to 95,000 passengers.

Cruise Passenger and Crew Spending in California
According to CLIA’s study, cruising at California ports generated two million passenger and crew visits, representing 8.6 percent of all passenger and crew visits in the U.S. and producing $132 million in passenger and crew onshore spending, or nearly $65 per visit. Total passenger and crew spending in California increased 39 percent from 2013.

2014 CLIA Economic Impact Analysis



Share of the U.S. (percent)

Passenger Embarkations



Resident Cruise Passengers



Total Passenger & Crew Visits



Direct Expenditures ($ Millions)



Total Employment Impact



Total Wage Impact ($ Millions)



Additional findings from CLIA’s study:

  • The cruise industry directly employed approximately 1,300 Californians, representing approximately five percent of the total employment of all cruise lines throughout the U.S.
  • Tourism-related industries received approximately $700 million, or 32 percent of the cruise industry’s $2.2 billion in direct spending in California.
  • Another $888 million, or 40 percent of the total, was spent with businesses in six additional business segments: food processors, ship repair companies and petroleum refiners within the manufacturing sector; and advertising agencies, insurance companies and professional services, such as legal, accounting and consulting services, in the non-manufacturing sector.

Top Ten States
According to CLIA’s study, the top ten states benefitting economically from the cruise industry are:

  1. Florida
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Alaska
  6. Washington
  7. Georgia
  8. Illinois
  9. Massachusetts
  10. New Jersey

Global Cruise Industry’s Contributions to the U.S. Economy
The growing economic impact from the cruise industry in California reflects the industry’s increasing contribution to the U.S. economy. In 2014, cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21 billion in the U.S. in 2014, up 16 percent since 2010 and representing a new peak in U.S. cruise industry expenditures. Total contributions[2] of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $46.09 billion in 2014, up 4.5 percent from the previous year. This includes generating 373,738 U.S. jobs paying more than $19 billion in wages and salaries.

Infographics on the Cruise Industry Economic Impact Study are available at http://cruising.org/docs/default-source/research/2015_clia_economic-impact-infographic.pdf.

Cruise Industry Celebrates National Plan A Cruise Month
CLIA’s report coincides with National Plan a Cruise Month, an initiative where the cruise industry comes together to help consumers across the country discover cruising by featuring unprecedented cruise vacation offers – from chances to win dream cruise vacations each day of the month, and discovering new cruises and destinations – to receiving the best cruise deals and promotions.

To celebrate, the cruise industry has launched #CruiseSmile, a chance to win one of 31 cruise vacations from 23 different cruise lines, awarded each day in October. For information on how to enter, visit http://cruisesmile.org/.

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