Cruise Lines, Passengers and Crew Spent a Record $21.69 Billion in 2016, Jumping 15 Percent Since 2011

CLIAWASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2017 – Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21.69 billion in the U.S. in 2016, up 15 percent since 2011 and representing a new peak in U.S. cruise industry expenditures, according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association.

CLIA’s 2016 Economic Impact Analysis, an independent study commissioned by CLIA and conducted by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA), shows that total contributions[1] of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $47.76 billion in 2016, up 3.6 percent from 2014. This includes generating 389,432 U.S. jobs paying more than $20.5 billion in wages and salaries.

“The global cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy and we see clear evidence of the industry’s positive impact across the country,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “We saw cruise lines purchasing goods or services in support of their operations, and passengers traveling for their cruise vacations. The cruise industry continues to prosper and set economic records, and that’s good news for cruise lines, cruise employees, suppliers and passengers.”

Record U.S. Embarkations

According to CLIA’s study, 11.66 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from U.S. ports in 2016, setting a new high and growing 5.4 percent since 2014.

The top ten U.S. cruise ports[2] accounted for 87.2 percent of 2016 embarkations, and Florida¾whose ports handled 7.08 million embarkations¾accounted for nearly 61 percent of all U.S. cruise embarkations. Embarkations from California’s ports (Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego and San Francisco) increased 5.5 percent since 2014 to 1.06 million, with an increased number of embarkations from Long Beach accounting for 57 percent of California’s total growth.

“While Florida remains the center of cruising in the United States, we continue to see steady growth in all four of California’s ports,” said D’Aoust. “Long Beach had an incredible impact on California’s growth, and we can only expect that to continue as cruise lines complete new terminal expansions and extend long-term leases.