HURRICANE IMPACTS Results were skewed by last year’s historic hurricane season—with destinations like British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the United States Virgin Islands seeing declines due to the temporary effects, while still totaling expenditures more than $500 million during the study and now regularly welcoming more than 10,000 cruisers per day due to their remarkable recoveries.
DESTINATION BREAKDOWNS • Eleven destinations had direct cruise tourism expenditures of $100 million or more: Cozumel had the highest level of direct cruise sector expenditures with $474 million in spending. In addition, Cozumel had the highest volume of onshore passenger and crew visits with 4.16 million total visits and an average total
expenditure of $113.85 per passenger and crew visit. The $474 million in cruise tourism expenditures generated an estimated 11,945 jobs, the highest level among the 36 destinations, paying $78.2 million in wage income.
Furthermore, BREA Principal Rich Higginson told that if St. Maarten and US Virgin Islands—the top two destinations in average per passenger spending for both this and the previous study—had simply remained flat in passenger visits since the last study, instead of losing 2 million, that yearover-year average per passenger spending would have increased for the overall study. Additionally, the temporary impacts led to increases in destinations like Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire. According to the study, all of this showed “further proof that the Caribbean cruise industry is strong, and the member destinations, in all their beauty, continue to be both resilient and successful.”
The Bahamas, with 2.97 million combined passenger and crew visits, had the second-highest volume of visits in the Caribbean. It also had the second-highest level of direct expenditures with $406 million. Thus, each visit generated an average total expenditure of $136.53 across all passenger and crew visits. The Bahamas also benefitted from the generation of 9,004 jobs paying wage income of $155.7 million, the second-highest totals for employment, and the highest for wages in the Caribbean. Jamaica had the third-highest level of direct expenditures with $245 million in spending by cruise lines and their passengers and crew. The combined passenger and crew onshore visits totaled 2.05 million visits, and on average each passenger and crew visit generated an average $119.45 in total direct expendi-
tures per visit. The $245 million in cruise tourism spending in Jamaica generated an estimated 8,293 total jobs and $56.6 million in wage income. The Cayman Islands had the fourth-highest number of passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.89 million visits and the fourth-highest volume of direct expenditures, $225 million. The Cayman Islands had an average total expenditure of $119.10 per passenger and crew visit. The $225 million in cruise tourism spending in the Cayman Islands generated 4,622 total jobs and $92.2 million in wage income during the 2017/2018 cruise year. The U.S. Virgin Islands had the fifth-highest level of direct cruise sector expenditures with $185 million in spending. In addition, the U.S.V.I. had the eighth-highest volume of onshore passenger and crew visits with 1.12 million combined visits. It also had the second-highest average total expenditure rate of $165.09 per passenger and crew visit. The $185 million in cruise tourism expenditures generated an estimated 3,439 jobs paying $77.9 million in wage income, the fourth-highest wage total. Puerto Rico benefitted from $151 million in total cruise tourism expenditures, which in turn generated 3,644 jobs and $56.0 million in wages. The economic impacts of cruise tourism in Puerto Rico were generated by both homeport and port-of-call visits. In fact, Puerto Rico led the Caribbean in passenger embarkations with over 361,000. The island destination ranked fifth in passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.28 million visits. On average each passenger and crew visit generated $118.31 in total direct expenditures. St. Kitts had the seventh-highest cruise tourism expenditures, with $149 million. It also ranked seventh in combined passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.14 million visits, which generated an average total expenditure of $130.86 per visit. The $149 million in direct expenditures, in turn, generated an estimated 2,065 jobs paying $17.6 million in wage income. FOURTH QUARTER 2018 | TRAVEL & CRUISE 47