Cruise industry spending rises 10%, according to CLIA report

The North American cruise industry generated $35.7 billion in gross U.S. economic output and supported 348,000 jobs in the US, according to a Cruise Lines International Association report.

Total cruise industry spending increased 10% in 2006, with $17.7 billion spent in direct purchases by the cruise lines in the U.S. for goods and services, including food, beverages, fuel, equipment, business services, port services, vessel maintenance and repairs. That total also included spending by crew and passengers on goods and services related to cruising.

Embarkations from U.S. ports increased 4%, to 9 million, and accounted for 75% of total global embarkations. By the end of 2006, the industry's fleet had increased to 151 vessels with a combined capacity of 249,691 lower berths.

With indirect economic impacts, such as transportation services to deliver finished products to the cruise lines and utilities needed to run manufacturing equipment, the total economic impact generated by the industry was $35.7 billion.

Every state felt the economic impact, but 10 states benefited from 79% of direct purchases and 83% of total employment and income. Florida, California, Texas, Alaska, New York, Hawaii, Georgia, Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts were the largest recipients.

The report found that in 2006, 12 million people worldwide took a cruise vacation, a 7% increase over 2005. U.S. residents accounted for 78% of the industry's total passengers.

The top 10 U.S. cruise ports by cruise embarkations in 2006 were: Miami, Port Canaveral, Fla.; Port Everglades, Fla.; Galveston, Texas; Los Angeles; New York; Tampa; Long Beach, Calif.; Seattle; and Honolulu.

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