Ports of Spain attract 18.5M cruise pax in 2000

NEW YORK -- Spanish ports attracted 18.5 million international cruise passengers in 2000, according to statistics from the Spanish umbrella organization Puertos del Estado, which represents 18 ports in and around Spain.

While the passenger total represents a 4% decline from 1999 figures, said Puertos officials, 1999 represented "an exceptional year for cruise traffic in the Mediterranean, which captured almost 20% of the world's cruise traffic."

The passenger totals are driving Spanish investment in cruise infrastructure, said Puertos.

Spain will spend $50 million on improving passenger facilities and boosting port-city relations in 2001.

Puertos del Estado studies show the average cruise passenger spends around $120, "six times that of a conventional tourist."

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