Report: Cruising boosts revenues

Cruise tourism boosted revenues for destinations, ports and businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to an Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association-commissioned study from Business Research and Economic Advisors. 

The advisers reported that Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association-regional cruise tourism in 2011-2012 generated more than $1.9 billion in direct expenditures, 45,000 jobs and $728 million in employee wages among 21 destinations surveyed. 

“This certainly is wonderful news, but it doesn’t surprise me,” said Michele M. Paige, association president, during the 19th annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association’s Conference and Trade Show in Curaçao. 

“[Our] members are known for seeing opportunities.” 

The new study analysed spending by passengers, crew members and cruise lines.  

Cruise passengers (15.44 million) spent US$1.48 billion in 21 participating destinations, with per passenger expenditures ranging from $185.40 in St. Maarten to $27.10 in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and averaging $95.92. An average of 52 percent of passengers bought shore excursions, generating $270 million in total payments to tour operators. Other notable purchases include watches and jewellery ($583 million); clothing ($158 million); food and beverage ($106.5 million) and local crafts and souvenirs ($87 million). 

Crew members (2.7 million) spent over $261 million in the 21 destinations, with per crew expenditures ranging from $138.30 in the United States Virgin Islands and $21.40 in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and averaging $96.98. 

Cruise lines spent an estimated $246.9 million in participating destinations for port fees and taxes, utilities, navigation services and ship supplies. 

“These expenditures have a direct impact on local employment and wages,” said Andrew Moody, principal of Business Research & Economic Advisors. “Local businesses … create additional jobs and income.”  

Ms Paige noted that polled passengers’ experience showed a strong indication that they are likely to cruise again in the region and spend money. Passengers told the survey that they were satisfied with overall destination visit; shore excursions; friendliness of residents and courtesy of employees; initial shoreside welcome; historic sites/museums; and local transportation. 

“Establishing relationships among member lines and the public and private sectors of partner destinations was the reason we founded the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association,” Ms Paige said.

Cruise ship passengers Spotts Cayman

A new survey has delved into the spending habits of today’s cruise passengers. – Photo: Jewel Levy

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