Pre-pandemic industry output grew 5.3% in 2019 compared to 2018, fueled by rising popularity of cruise vacations and nearly 14 million passenger embarkations from U.S. ports.
WASHINGTON, DC – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, 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.
In 2019, the cruise industry generated a total of $55.5 billion in economic activity in the United States, a 5.3% increase from 2018. Moreover, growth in economic activity was accompanied by an increase in industry-supported jobs. According to the report, 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.