Sep 06, 2012

Independent Study for Cruise Lines International Association Shows Industry Building--On 2010 Rebound with Generation of Nearly 350,000 Jobs, Over $40 Billion Economic Impact in 2011

— September 6, 2012 —

Washington, DC — 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). Direct purchases by CLIA’s 26 member lines and their passengers and crew totaled 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.”

“The Contribution of the North American Cruise Industry to the U.S. Economy in 2011” was prepared for CLIA by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) of Exton, Pennsylvania. The key findings include:

  • Total economic impact on the U.S. economy grew by 6.8 percent to $40.42 billion in 2011, with direct spending by the cruise industry growing by 4.8 percent to $18.9 billion; total employment grew by 5.4 percent to 347,787 and wages and salaries jumped by 8.3 percent in 2011.
  • The North American cruise industry benefited every state economy through direct purchases of goods and services, with approximately 80 percent of the impact concentrated in ten states – Florida, California, New York, Texas, Alaska, Washington, Georgia, Massachusetts, Illinois and Colorado.
    • #1 Florida cruise passenger and crew visits totaled 8.94 million in 2011, a 2.6 percent increase, with direct spending of $6.7 billion and 130,950 jobs that generated $5.76 billion in income.
    • #2 California cruise passenger and crew visits totaled 979,000, generating $1.86 billion in direct spending and creating 42,254 jobs that paid $2.3 billion in wages.
    • #3 New York, with 896,000 passenger and crew visits, accounted for 6.6 percent of the industry’s direct expenditures ($1.25 billion), generating 16,608 jobs paying $944 million in income.
    • #4 Texas received just over $1.12 billion in cruise industry direct spending, creating 17,316 jobs paying $917 million in income.
    • #5 Alaska received just over 4.8 million passenger and crew visits in 2011, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year, which accounted for 5.4 percent of the industry’s direct spending ($1.02 billion generating 22,493 jobs paying $962 million in wage income.
  • Worldwide, 20 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 totaled 10.4 million, or 63.5 percent.
  • U.S. ports handled 60 percent of all global cruise embarkations, with 9.83 million passengers sailing from American ports, a 1.4 percent increase over 2010.
    • The top ten U.S. cruise ports – Miami, Port Everglades, Port Canaveral, New York, Galveston, Tampa, Seattle, Long Beach, New Orleans, Los Angeles – accounted for nearly 86 percent of all U.S. embarkations
  • Net capacity, measured by lower berths, grew by 4.1 percent in 2011 to 320,304
    • Capacity growth remained concentrated in Europe – 18 percent
    • Within North America, deployed capacity increased by 5.4 percent, led by Bermuda (36 percent), Hawaii (32 percent) and Alaska (19 percent)
Further information about the contribution of the North American cruise industry to the U.S. economy may be found at

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