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Cruise industry contributes record €47.86bn to European economy

CLIA's latest data shows 403,621 employed in Europe's cruise and cruise-related businesses in 2017
The cruise industry contributed a record €47.86bn to the European economy in 2017, according to new figures released by Cruise Lines International Association in its updated European Economic Contribution Report.

This represents an increase of 16.9% against the previous figure released in 2015.

David Dingle, chairman of CLIA Europe and chairman of Carnival UK, said: The cruise industry continues to make significant contributions to Europe’s economy. Its positive economic benefit is clear as cruise continues to contribute significantly to the European economy through smart sustainable growth.

‘This is thanks to more Europeans choosing a cruise holiday, more cruise passengers sailing in Europe, and more cruise ships being built in European shipyards. This all translates into substantial economic benefits for the entire continent.’

Direct expenditures reached €19.70bn

Last year, the direct expenditures generated by the cruise industry reached €19.70bn, up from €16.9bn in 2015.

In terms of employment, between 2015 and 2017 the cruise industry generated more than 43,000 new jobs across Europe, with 403,621 now employed in cruise and cruise-related businesses. Wages and other benefits for European workers reached €12.77bn.

As the global cruise industry continues to grow and expand into new destinations, Europe remains a vibrant hub for cruising. This trend is supported by three key factors:

  • Europe represents the world’s second biggest source passenger market – 6.96m Europeans went on a cruise holiday in 2017, 7.8% more than in 2015
  • Europe remains the world’s second most popular cruise destination, second only to the Caribbean. The study showed that 6.50m passengers embarked on their cruises from European ports in 2017, 6.1% more than in 2015.
  • European shipyards are the heart of the world’s cruise ship building industry with spending on new builds and maintenance increasing for a sixth year. In 2017, cruise lines spent €5.6bn in European shipyards, representing a 22.4% increase compared to 2015. 66 cruise ships are currently on the order books of European shipyards for delivery by 2021, with a total value of more than €29.4bn.

Cindy D’Aoust, CLIA president and ceo, said: ‘We are confident that the cruise industry’s growth in Europe will be sustained for years to come. CLIA continues to work with policymakers, regulators and other stakeholders across a variety of important industry subjects including environmental and sustainability areas.

‘Europe’s economic contribution is a direct result of the impressive growth the cruise industry saw in 2017 as it reached 26.7m passengers on ocean cruises globally.’

Forty CLIA lines are domiciled in Europe, operating 137 cruise ships with a capacity of around 164,000 lower berths. A further 75 vessels with a capacity of around 95,000 lower berths are deployed in Europe by 23 non-European cruise lines.

The research was undertaken by Business Research & Economic Advisors and G.P. Wild (International) Limited.