The European cruise industry continues to increase its share of the global cruise market with 21.7 million passengers visiting a European port, 4.7 million joining their cruise in Europe and the industry generating €32.2 billion of goods and services in 2008, according to figures released today by the European Cruise Council (ECC).

David Dingle, chairman of the ECC and chief executive officer of Carnival UK said in a prepared statement that: “These latest figures show the cruise industry continues to play a major role in the economy of Europe. The total value of goods and services generated has increased by a staggering 69% in the last three years to more than €32 billion. We have also seen an increase in the amount passengers spend - at turnaround ports it’s €106 while at ports of call passengers spend on average €57 per visit. In 2008, total passenger onshore spend was €2.7 billion, a 69% increase over 2005.”

Dingle continued: “Europe has acted as a magnet, drawing cruise ships from North America, which together with European fleets has led to a significant increase in the number of passengers joining their cruise from a European port – a 68% increase since 2005 to 4.7 million passengers. The European cruise industry contributed €14.2 billion in direct expenditure with cruise lines spending €5.1 billion on services, supplies and equipment. Despite the present economic challenges, the ECC anticipates further growth in Europe; not at such a frenetic pace but with the introduction this year of new ships dedicated to the European market we are confident of continued passenger growth.”

The ECC commissioned the 2008 economic impact report together with Euroyards, MedCruise and Cruise Europe. Key results include:

· 21.7 million passengers visited a European port

· 4.7 million passengers joined their cruise at a European port

· The number of cruise ships operating in Europe in 2008 rose by 35% over 2005, to 192

· Europe is the world leader in building cruise ships and during 2008, the industry spent €5.2 billion on construction, repair and maintenance of cruise ships

· The European cruise industry generated 311,512 jobs in 2008, a 66% increase over 2005

· The typical European cruise makes calls at four or more ports on any given itinerary

· Italy and Greece competed in popularity of destination, with the roles reversed in 2008. Italy took 23% total share and Greece 19.6%; Spain retained its third position with 16.6%

· Led by Naples, Civitavecchia and Livorno, Italian ports hosted nearly 5 million cruise passenger visits

· Greece was the second leading destination with nearly 4.3 million cruise passengers. Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes were the most popular islands.

2008 economic impact

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

UK

Direct expenditure € million

€1,399

€2,351

€4,318

€1,042

€2,263

Total jobs

18,265

41,560

97,152

22,397

49,015

Source of cruise passengers (000s)

310

907

682

497

1,477

 

2007 economic impact

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

UK

Direct expenditure € million

€1,158

€2,053

€3,968

€947

€2,001

Total jobs

15,092

36,136

90,545

18,977

43,375

Source of cruise passengers (000s)

280

763

640

518

1,335