Cruise tourism contributed almost US$1.5 billion to the Caribbean in 2011/12
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao, Thursday, October 4, 2012 - Regional cruise tourism in 2011-2012 generated more than US$1.9 billion in direct expenditures, 45,000 jobs and $728 million in employee wages among 21 destinations.
This is according to a study commissioned by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and conducted by the Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) to analyse spending by passengers, crew members and cruise lines in the 21 destinations surveyed.
BREA-surveyed destinations included Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Curacao; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Honduras; Nicaragua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Kitts and Nevis; St Maarten; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Turks and Caicos; and the US Virgin Islands.
Among BREA's findings were that 15.44 million cruise passengers spent US$1.48 billion in the participating destinations, with per passenger expenditures ranging from US$185.40 in St Maarten to $27.10 in St Vincent and the Grenadines and averaging $95.92.
An average of 52 percent of passengers bought shore excursions, generating US$270 million in total payments to tour operators. Other notable purchases include watches and jewelry ($583 million); clothing ($158 million); food and beverage ($106.5 million) and local crafts and souvenirs ($87 million).
And, according to the study, holidaymakers were not the only travellers generating revenue for the destinations. Crew members (2.7 million) spent over US$261 million in the 21 destinations, with per crew expenditures ranging from US$138.30 in the US Virgin Islands and $21.40 in St Vincent and the Grenadines and averaging $96.98.
The study also showed that cruise lines spent an estimated US$246.9 million in participating destinations for port fees and taxes, utilities, navigation services and ship supplies.
"These expenditures have a direct impact on local employment and wages," Andrew Moody, principal of Business Research and Economic Advisors, said. "Local businesses ... create additional jobs and income."
"This certainly is wonderful news, but it doesn't surprise me," said Michele Paige, FCCA president, during the 19th annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association's Conference and Trade Show in Curacao.
Paige noted that polled passengers' experience showed a strong indication that they are likely to cruise again in the region and spend money.