The cruise industry continued to grow and pumped billions of
dollars into the U.S. economy in 2002, despite the challenging
economy and overall downturn in travel, according to a new study.
Cruise tourism generated nearly $20.4 billion in economic
activity in the U.S. last year, nearly a 10 percent increase over
2001 numbers, according to the report prepared by Business Research
and Economic Advisers. for the International Council of Cruise
About 7.5 million U.S. residents took cruises last year,
representing nearly 80 percent of all passengers worldwide. The
total was a 10.5 percent increase in 2001 totals, but fell short of
the industry’s 13 percent growth in capacity. “The cruise industry
was one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy during 2002,
particularly for the hard-hit travel and tourism sector,” said ICCL
President Michael J. Crye.
Four Western states with major ports ranked among the top 10
beneficiaries: California, Alaska, Washington and Texas.
California ports experienced a 9.6 percent increase in
embarkations, up to 705,000 from 643,000 in 2001.
The 10 states accounted for 79 percent of the total U.S. impact.
Outside of the West, the biggest beneficiaries were Florida, New
York, Illinois, Georgia, Massach- usetts and Pennsylvania.
Still, even states far from the water were affected.
Wyoming ranked last among the 50 states in cruise economic
impact but still gained $3 million in direct purchases. And 39
residents earned $1 million from related employment, the study
The economic effects are related to airline transportation for
cruise passengers, food and beverage purchases, ship maintenance
and refurbishment, engineering work and travel agent
“Our growth has ripple effects across the entire U.S. economy,”
Crye said. Cruise embarkations grew by 10.2 percent at U.S. ports,
demand stimulated by consumers’ preference for domestic travel and
the industry’s continued expansion into new ports in large drive
Short, inexpensive cruises also attracted more travelers in
2002, as did heavy discounting on some itineraries and value-added
The complete study can be viewed at www.iccl.org. "