Galveston, TX (Dec. 8, 2020) – Galveston Wharves cruise activity in 2019 had a $1.6 billion economic impact in Texas and showed growth in all areas, including jobs and spending, compared to 2018.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, “These newly released economic impact numbers remind us that the eventual resumption of cruising will be essential to boosting our regional and state economic recovery.”
As it does each year, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released its annual report on the cruise industry’s impact on the U.S. economy in November. Cruise activity was suspended in March 2020 as part of a global response to the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, the cruise industry generated $55.5 billion in economic activity in the United States, a 5.3 percent increase from 2018.
STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH IN 2019
As the fourth most popular cruise port in North America and only cruise port in Texas, Galveston’s cruise activity contributes significantly to state and regional economies.
Rees said that Galveston’s cruise business showed growth in all areas when comparing 2019 to 2018:
- $1.6 billion in cruise industry direct expenditures – up 6.5 percent
- 1.1 million passenger embarkations – 14 percent higher
- 1.3 million passenger and crew onshore visits – up 11 percent
- $125 million in passenger and crew onshore spending – 9 percent higher
- 26,900 employment impact statewide – a 2.5 percent increase
- $1.8 million in wages statewide – up almost 3 percent
According to the report, Texas ranks third behind Florida and California in total direct expenditures, employment and wage impacts.
RETURN TO CRUISING
While cruise operations remain suspended in the United States, the Galveston Wharves is working with cruise industry leaders and local business and community partners for the safe, sustainable resumption of cruising in 2021.
Rees said, “With thousands of jobs at stake, cruising with appropriate measures in place and with the support of health authorities will be critical to putting people back to work and fueling the broader economic recovery.”
Rees added that Galveston’s cruise business generates about 65 percent of the port’s annual revenue, allowing the port to reinvest in business growth and infrastructure improvements to generate more jobs, expand its cargo business and other economic benefits for the Galveston region.
Read the CLIA 2019 U.S. cruise report at www.portofgalveston.com/reports.
About Galveston Wharves at Port of Galveston
Perfectly situated at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 45 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. As the fourth most popular U.S. cruise port, it welcomed more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2019. In addition, one of the busiest in Texas, the port moved 4 million tons of cargo in 2019 and has an estimated annual state economic impact of $2.1 billion.