Newly released 2019 U.S. Economic Impact Analysis underscores the tremendous growth of the cruise industry and the corresponding growth of the industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy prior to the global health emergency.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, has announced new economic impact data from its annual report on the contributions of the cruise industry to the U.S. economy. The newly released 2019 U.S. Economic Impact Analysis underscores the tremendous growth of the cruise industry and the corresponding growth of the industry’s contributions to the U.S. economy prior to the global health emergency.
According to CLIA’s report the cruise industry generated a total of $55.5 billion in economic activity in the United States in 2019, a 5.3% increase from 2018. Moreover, growth in economic activity was accompanied by an increase in industry-supported jobs. The cruise industry supported 436,600 American jobs paying $24.4 billion in wages in 2019 – a 3.5% and 5.4% increase from 2018, respectively.
The latest figures follow nearly ten years of continued growth in the cruise industry, fueled by the rising popularity of cruise vacations. Over 13.7 million passengers embarked on cruise ships from U.S. ports in 2019, up nearly 8% from 2018 and 26% from just five years ago.
“The pre-pandemic trends clearly demonstrate that cruising has emerged as one of the fastest growing sectors of travel and tourism,” said Kelly Craighead, president and CEO of CLIA. “The cruise industry is proud to play an important role in the creation of jobs and economic opportunity for nearly half a million Americans throughout the country. At the same time, we recognize the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on our community. A resumption of cruising in the United States in 2021, with stringent measures in place and with the support of health authorities, will be critical to putting people back to work and fueling the greater economic recovery from the pandemic.”
The report highlights the cruise industry’s economic contributions across multiple sectors, from transportation and aviation, to food and beverage, lodging, manufacturing, agriculture, travel agencies and a robust supply chain that stretches across the United States.
The economic impact of the cruise industry in Canada and Europe
In 2019, the cruise industry generated a total of $4.25 billion in economic activity in Canada, a 33% increase from 2016. The industry supported 29,000 Canadian jobs paying $1.43 billion in wages – a 26% increase in employment and 43% increase in wages since 2016. Canadian ports saw more than 3 million passenger arrivals in 2019, up 36% from 2016 and 46% from 2012.
In Europe the cruise industry generated a total of €57.5 billion in economic activity in 2019, a 27% increase from 2017. The cruise industry supported 413,862 jobs throughout Europe paying €14.3 billion in wages. Global cruise lines invested €10.2 billion in the construction and maintenance of cruise vessels in European shipyards in 2019.