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Industry Hosts 12.68 Million U.S. Passengers in the Last Year & Generates 421,711 Jobs Domestically
(Washington DC, Nov. 14, 2019) – The cruise industry is an increasingly dominant player in the
U.S. tourism sector according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s
largest cruise industry trade association. The newly released CLIA 2018 Economic Impact Analysis found the
cruise industry in the U.S. had an economic impact of over $52.7 billion in total contributions in 2018 alone,
marking an increase of over 10 percent since 2016.
The increasing popularity of cruising to and from the United States is evident throughout the report, as is the
inextricable correlation between the industry’s growth and its economic impact across the country. Nearly 13
million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from ports in the United States in 2018—an increase of nearly
nine percent from 2016.
“There’s no doubting the enormity of the cruise industry’s contributions to the U.S. and global
economies. The 2018 Economic Impact Analysis highlights the incredible impact the industry continues to have on
American businesses and individuals, as well as the growing popularity of cruising amongst passengers of all
nationalities and backgrounds,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA’s president and CEO. “There is simply
no better way to experience the world, and the cruise industry is proud to have such a positive impact on the people
and communities we visit here in the United States.”
With increased embarkations come increased onshore spending. In 2018, cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a
record $23.96 billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010. Additionally, 2018 saw a new peak
in the cruise industry’s U.S. expenditures, generating 421,711 jobs across the United States and contributing
more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13 percent increase since 2016.
Combined, these numbers reflect the growing consensus cruising has evolved into a mainstream choice for travelers of
all means and backgrounds, as well as a leader in the tourism sector. The cruise industry recognizes with growth
comes added responsibility to ensure the destinations we visit remain a welcoming and beautiful place to both live
in and visit for generations to come.
For more information about the cruise industry, the full 2018 CLIA Economic Impact Analysis, and details on
the cruise industry’s economic impact in each of the top ten states, please visit: CLIA
2018 Economic Impact Analysis.
2018 Economic Impact Analysis by the Numbers
- Total U.S. Economic Impact: The U.S. cruise industry had an economic impact of over $52.7
billion in total 2018 contributions - marking an increase of over 10 percent since
- Direct Impact: $23.96 billion in direct
purchases made by passengers, crew, and cruise lines.
- Indirect & Induced Impact: $28.7 billion in
indirect supply purchases and merchant payments, as well as induced economic benefits from cruise line
and supplier purchases of consumer goods and services.
- Advancements in Embarkation: Nearly 13 million cruise passengers worldwide
embarked from ports in the United States in 2018—an increase of nearly nine percent from
- Florida and California: With a total of nine cruise ports between them—accounted
for 68 percent of the U.S embarkations in 2018. Meanwhile, embarkations from the two
cruise terminals in New York increased 12 percent since 2016 and ports in Galveston
also experienced a 13 percent embarkation increase in 2018 compared to 2016.
- Increased Onshore Spending: In 2018, cruise lines, passengers and crew spent a record $23.96
billion in the United States—a 33 percent increase since 2010.
- S. Expenditures: The cruise industry generated 421,711 jobs across the United
States and contributed more than $23.15 billion in wages and salaries, a nearly 13
percent increase since 2016.
Top Ten States Benefitting Economically from the Global Cruise Industry
- New York
- New Jersey