Cruise passengers spend more in home ports

Cruise lines, their passengers and their crews were responsible for a direct economic impact of $14.7 billion last year, according to an annual study by the International Council of Cruise Lines.

The total includes expenditures on goods and services, travel to and from ports, salaries, provisions, port services and ship maintenance. 

Direct spending rose nearly 14% between 2003 and 2004.

Passenger and crew spending rose by 26% to $1.37 billion.

Passengers are spending more in home ports: In 2004 a passenger spent $231 on average during a visit to a home port that included overnight stays. In 2003, the same passenger spent $195. Passengers arriving on the day of the cruise spent, on average, $29 in port during 2004, an 81% increase. Spending in U.S. ports of call, however, was down by 7% per person, to an average of $103 per visit.

The ICCL said a 2,000-passenger ship with a crew complement of 950 would generate about $245,000 on passenger and crew spending per call in a home-port city and $230,000 in spending in a port of call.

The industry spent more than $7.5 billion in what it calls the core cruise travel sector, which includes direct-spend items such as passenger spending and port and transportation fees.

The lines also increased spending with travel agents and tour operators by 25% in 2004, to $2.1 billion, recorded in the transportation services category.

Growth in passenger carryings was the driving force behind the growth, ICCL said. A majority of the payments was agency commissions, and ICCLs study estimated that the average commission rate to agents was 15%, unchanged year-over-year.

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