SEATTLE -- Cruise ships calling in Seattle brought in $124 million in business revenue, $39 million in payroll and $3.8 million in taxes for the regional economy in 2003, and those numbers are expected to grow by 50% this year, according to an economic impact study released by the Port of Seattle.

The study said local firms that provide products and services to the cruise lines and their passengers and crew, and offer cruise-related activities at Sea-Tac airport generated the $124 million.

The study added that number could climb 68% in 2004.

The Seattle port is expecting 149 cruise ships carrying 500,000 passengers to call during the summer Alaska season. Five years ago, the port said, six ships carrying 6,615 passengers called in Seattle.

To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].

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