Cruising said to be a $42 billion business in U.S.

By Tom Stieghorst
The U.S. economic impact of the cruise industry grew 4.6% last year to $42 billion, according to a study done annually for CLIA.

That compares with an increase in the U.S. gross domestic product of 2.2% in 2012.

Direct spending by the cruise lines was pegged at $19.6 billion, up 4%, according to the study by Business and Economic Research Associates.

The study said the cruise industry generates 356,311 jobs in the U.S with wages of over $17 billion.

North American cruise lines carried 16.95 million passengers last year, a 3.8% advance over 2011.

Florida, which accounted for 60% of cruise embarkations, benefited the most from the cruise industry, garnering 36% of all spending.

Ten states account for 80% of the cruise industry's economic impact: Florida, California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Alaska, Georgia, Washington and New Jersey.

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