More passengers sailed from Port Canaveral during fiscal year 2002 than any other time in the history of the world’s second busiest multi-day cruise port, an indication that the cruise industry is in economic recovery from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
According to Port figures, 3,824,240 revenue passengers cruised from Port Canaveral between October 1, 2001 and September 30, 2002. This exceeds previous records in 2000 and 2001. The numbers represent one-percent growth in 2000 and 5.4 percent growth in 2001. The cruise industry at Port Canaveral has an $276 million economic impact on Central Florida, according to a 1999 economic impact study.
“The biggest growth occurred in our longer cruise options with the influx of cruise lines offering 7-day itineraries,” says Robert Giangrisostomi, Deputy Executive Director of Business Development for the Canaveral Port Authority. “We have been very successful in our efforts to attract drive-market vacationers to Port Canaveral for the cruise lines to fill up their ships.”
Port Canaveral has recovered from the loss of the two smaller cruise lines that went out of business two years ago. Fiscal year 2002 income from cruise business totaled a record $22.7 million. It will be directed toward new port security requirements and INS mandates instituted following the 9-11 terrorist attack.
Though a record year
for cruise revenue, the cargo operations at Port Canaveral have been affected by the sagging economy. Port Canaveral had a total cargo volume of 4,215,801 tons, down 7.7 percent over the previous high in fiscal year 2001.
Cargo-related revenue is 14 percent of the Port’s total revenue while cruise revenue is 70 percent. The remaining 16 percent comes from leases and miscellaneous non-operating revenues.
Several projects are on the agenda for fiscal year 2003, including refurbishing terminals and parking areas to accommodate continued growth of the cruise industry at Port Canaveral.