PEMBROKE PINES, FL - For more than 20 years, destinations have increased their cruise tourism impact by hosting the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. From triple-digit growth in passenger and vessel arrivals to the development of new piers and cruise destinations, event hosts have directly benefited from spotlighting their products, experiences and infrastructure to 1,000 stakeholders and the industry's most influential decision makers-over 100 executives, presidents and CEOs from FCCA's 19 Member Lines. Puerto Rico aims to actualize these benefits by again hosting the event this September 26-30.
"I believe one of the cruise industry's greatest assets is our economic contribution for the destinations we call," said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA. "The main focus of the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is to help all involved improve their share of that economic impact, and I look forward to seeing the positive results from Puerto Rico displaying its improvements in infrastructure and products, along with its ability to organize an event of this magnitude."
Puerto Rico knows the significance of hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show because of experiencing a 10-percent increase in passenger arrivals after last hosting the event in 2011. According to data from FCCA Member Lines, in 2010 San Juan received 1.37 million passenger arrivals, which increased to 1.51 million in 2013, just two years after the event-the normal cycle of itinerary planning-and continued this growth, last year welcoming 1.62 million.
These numbers extend far beyond the cruise pier; they impact the entire destination's economy, to the tune of $198.2 million in passenger, crew and cruise line spending, in addition to 5,209 jobs and $75 million in wages generated through cruise tourism during the 2014-15 season, per the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) 2015 study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.
In that study, along with the 2009 and 2012 versions, San Juan's average expenditure per passenger was $102.53, which directly benefited numerous industries through purchases of goods and services, including food and beverage at restaurants and bars, shore excursions, ground transportation and retail purchases. And crew spending averaged $136.76 per crewmember, going to similar products and services.
By these numbers, San Juan's growth in 2013, after hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, generated an extra $13.7 million in passenger spending, $3.1 million in crew spending, along with an estimated $3.4 million in cruise line expenditures and $7.2 million in employment wages-a total of an additional $27.4 million, not including indirect contributions that include supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, as well as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests.
If FCCA Member Line passenger arrivals increase the same 10 percent in 2018, it would lead to approximately 1.78 million passengers and estimated increases of $16.1 million in passenger spending, $3.7 million in crew spending, $3.9 million in cruise line spending and $8.4 million in employment wages-a total of $32.1 million more than 2015.
Considering this potential economic impact, it becomes easy to understand why Puerto Rico again decided to invest in the country's economy by hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.