According to figures issued today in Brussels by the European Cruise Council, at the official presentation of the sixth edition of the annual report of the European Cruise Contribution, for the year 2010, the European cruise industry continues to provide a major contribution to Europe’s economy as a whole. The cruise industry is the only area of the tourism sector that is enjoying substantial growth: last year there were some 5.5 million European cruisers (a 10% increase compared to 2009), which works out to approximately 30% of cruise passengers worldwide (18.8 million cruisers). The EU countries with the most cruisers are the UK (1.6 million), Germany (1.2 million), Italy (around 890,000) and Spain (645,000).
In 2010 the European cruise industry also grew in terms of the numbers of passengers departing from European ports: 5.2 million (+7.2%). The overall (direct and indirect) economic impact of the industry on the continent’s economy last year was 35.2 billion euros, including over 14 billion euros of direct spending. The greatest beneficiaries of this direct expenditure were Italy (4.5 billion euros), the UK (approximately 2.6 billion) and Germany (2.3 billion). European shipbuilders continue to play an important part in this expansion: from 2011 to 2014 the continent’s yards will build 23 new cruise ships, with a total investment worth almost 11 billion euros. The economic impact of the cruise industry also contributes very substantially to employment, accounting for around 300,000 jobs in Europe.
“Despite the fact that the economic situation is not the most favorable, European cruising remains a growth industry and continues to play a key role in terms of the creation of wealth and employment. Costa Crociere S.p.A. is the no.1 operator and the driving force in Europe: in 2010 the Group’s ships carried over 2 million Guests and generated an economic impact (direct and indirect spending) worth 2.2 billion euros in Italy alone,” commented Costa Crociere S.p.A. President Gianni Onorato.
In this context the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group – comprising the Costa Cruises trademark (www.costacruise.com), Aida Cruises (www.aida.de), and Iberocruceros (www.iberocruceros.com) – has confirmed its leadership in Europe. The Group’s consolidated revenues rose by about 12% in FY 2010, reaching just under 3 billion euros, while the total number of Guests was 2.15 million, representing an increase of some 18% compared to the previous fiscal year.