A new study found that cruise tourism and the 29.6 million passenger and crew onshore visits in 36 Caribbean and Latin American destinations generated a record $3.36 billion in total expenditures during the last cruise year.
The Florida-Caribbean Association (FCCA) announced that the 2017-2018 cruise year brought record economic contributions to the region, despite the historic hurricane season.
According to the study released by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), cruise tourism generated $3.36 billion in total cruise tourism expenditures. This is more than 6% higher than the record set by the previous study in 2015.
Namely, the study found the following:
- Cruise tourism generated $3.36 billion in expenditures, up 6.3% compared to the last study in 2015 and the previous record;
- 78,954 jobs were attributable to the industry, up 5.2% compared to the last study, paying a total employee wage income of $902.7 million;
- Destinations welcomed 25.2 million onshore visits from cruise passengers, with an average spend of $101.52, generating a total of $2.56 billion;
- Destinations welcomed 4.4 million onshore visits from crew, with an average spend of $60.44, generating a total of $265.7 million;
- Cruise lines spent $534 million, an average of $14.8 million per destination;
- The 29.6 million passenger and crew visits represent a 5.2% increase compared to the previous study, and the 32 common destinations in the 2015 and 2018 studies experienced a 6.5% increase in passenger visits;
- Average per passenger spend increased for 23 of the 32 common destinations, and 12 destinations recorded average spend rates above $100 per passenger (up from nine in 2015);
- On average, a single transit cruise call with 4,000 passengers and 1,640 crew generates $378,500 in passenger and crew spending alone: $339,500 and $39,000, respectively.
However, due to last year’s historic hurricane season, destinations like British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the United States Virgin Islands saw declines due to the temporary effects. However, they still totaled expenditures more than $500 million during the study. What is more, this decline led to increases in destinations like Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire.
As for the total cruise tourism expenditures, the following countries form the top five:
- Antigua & Barbuda ($77.7);
- Aruba ($102.7);
- The Bahamas ($405.8);
- Barbados ($71.0);
- Belize ($86.1);
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