The growing popularity of cruise vacations and European shipyards’ dominance of global cruise ship orders is set to have a major impact on jobs, wealth creation and inbound tourism in Europe, according to the results of a “European Cruise Contribution” report released at a major conference in Brussels.
“This is the first time that figures have been available to demonstrate the full economic value and scale of the total cruise industry in Europe,” said Mr Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman of the European Cruise Council (ECC) and chairman and chief executive officer of Costa Crociere SpA. The ECC commissioned the report together with Euroyards, MedCruise and Cruise Europe.
“Cruise companies, shipbuilding yards and cruise passengers now account for €8.3 billion of direct expenditure in Europe and we expect this to increase by 50 per cent to €12.7 billion by 2010,” said Mr Foschi. “We can also confirm that the cruise industry is already responsible for more than 180,000 jobs across Europe and our analysis shows that this could grow by more than 50,000 to top a quarter of a million jobs by 2010.”
Europe’s position as the world leader in cruise ship design and construction is helping to drive this growth. During 2005 the global cruise industry spent an estimated €3.1 billion on cruise ship construction and maintenance in Europe – over 35% of the total direct European cruise business expenditure. This is expected to rise by more than a billion euros to €4.4 billion by 2009.
European shipyards are building ten large ships a year for the next two years and have orders for over 95 per cent of new cruise ship orders between
now and 2010, worth more than €18 billion.
Within Europe, 2.6 million cruise passengers embarked on their cruises from European ports in 2005, ninety per cent of whom were European nationals. On average, these passengers spent €100 at each embarkation port city and another €50 at each port visit on their cruise itinerary. Their holidays generated 13 million passenger visits to European ports.