CLIA: Cruise spending in Alaska jumped 11% in ’07

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The cruise industry pumped $1.2 billion into Alaska’s economy in 2007, up almost 11% from the previous year, according to a study commissioned for the Cruise Lines International Association.

As a result of that spending, Alaska ranks third, behind Florida and California, in terms of direct spending by the cruise industry. The spending generated more than 25,000 full- and part-time jobs, including jobs at hotels, gift shops, restaurants and sightseeing companies.

Cruise-tour companies employed some 4,000 employees as a result of cruise spending. Meanwhile, cruise ship passengers and crew members spent some $530 million in the state last year, or almost $100 a person, CLIA said.

The study showed that Alaska continues to be the premier cruise destination in the U.S., with more than 5.5 million cruise passenger and crew visits last year, representing 27% of all cruise passenger and crew arrivals in the U.S.

Non-cruise businesses in the state, meanwhile, were the beneficiaries of nearly 70% of cruise industry spending, with tour operators, hotels, airlines and other businesses getting an estimated $845 million of the $1.2 billion in spending, CLIA reported.

Alaska’s cruise industry is poised for another record year in 2008, with some 1.2 million cruise passengers projected to have visited the state this past summer, according to the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

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