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 historic Costa Cruises trademark (, the number one cruise company for the German market Aida Cruises (, and Iberocruceros (, which operates mainly for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets – 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.  The increase in revenues reinforces Costa Crociere’s position as Italy’s largest travel group.

Costa Crociere S.p.A. is one of Italy’s top 10 most profitable companies and ranks 49th in terms of revenues in Mediobanca’s 2010 survey of over 3700 Italian enterprises that recorded revenue of at least 50 million euros the previous fiscal year.

The Group is headquartered in Italy and much of its business output is generated in Italy, which also happens to be the European country that is the biggest beneficiary of the continent’s cruise industry according to the European Cruise Council.  In 2010 Costa Crociere S.p.A. generated an economic impact of over 2.2 billion euros for Italy’s economy (source:  MIP, Milan Polytechnic Business School).

This business output was generated from 3 main sources.  The first is direct spending (comprising all of the Group’s direct expenditure, for example:  general expenses for supplies; new buildings and fleet maintenance; travel agency commissions; and port services).  

The second source consists of payrolls for Costa’s shoreside and shipboard personnel who are Italian citizens or resident in Italy – over 3,600 full-time employees (based on the FTE – full-time equivalent – calculation method).  The third and final source – indirect spending – comprises the expenses incurred in Italy by (Italian and foreign) Guests vacationing on Costa’s ships (transport costs as well as purchases of items for use on the cruise such as luggage, swimsuits, etc.).  Direct spending, payrolls and indirect spending in turn generate business output for the product/service supply chain (additional employment, increased market demand, orders placed with the suppliers’ own suppliers, etc.). This business output, added to direct spending and payrolls, amounts to around 2.2 billion euros.

The economic impact of the Costa Group also contributes very substantially to employment.  The MIP investigation measures this contribution as follows:  12,300 jobs, of which 3,600 within the Group and 8,700  generated all the way along the supply chain and including job creation among tourism service providers (based on the FTE – full-time equivalent – calculation method). Total employees of Costa Crociere S.p.A., including all nationalities, are about 24,000.