Port of Galveston Major Economic Contributor to North America’s Cruise Industry
The Port of Galveston remains the fourth busiest cruise port in the U.S. based upon number of embarking passengers according to a recent study prepared by Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). The Port has held this ranking since 2012.
In 2016, the Port of Galveston welcomed 869,923 embarking passengers, an increase of 35.4 percent since 2014. The last time the port saw such an increase was in 2012, when embarkations grew 31.6 percent year over year to 604,000.
Each year, the cruise industry generates $1.42 billion in direct spending and over 25,000 jobs paying $1.62 billion in total income. Thanks to the Port of Galveston, Texas accounted for 6.6 percent of the industry’s overall spending nationwide, 6.5 percent of the industry’s total employment impact and 7.9 percent of the income impact. The state ranks third in terms of the economic benefits it receives from the global cruise industry.
Galveston’s cruise business continues to expand. This month, the Port welcomes Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas offering Texas vacationers roundtrip four- and five-day Western Caribbean itineraries. In September 2018, Carnival will homeport its newest ship, the Carnival Vista in September with two different seven-day western Caribbean itineraries.
“We are committed to remaining in the top 5 cruise home-ports in the North America. We are also committed to strengthening our existing relationship with the cruise industry. Recently, the Board of Trustees appointed a Port of Call committee in an effort to increase cruise activity by encouraging other cruise lines to visit Galveston. In addition, we are also moving forward with the planning effort for a third cruise terminal that will enable us to accommodate even larger ships and the related significant increase in cruise passenger volume”, said Peter Simons, Interim Port Director.
Over 1.28 million passengers and crew visited Texas during 2016, up 19 percent from 1.07 million in 2014. This represents 5.3 percent of all passenger and crew visits in the U.S.
The Port of Galveston, Texas’ Star Cruise Port serves as the primary point of embarkation for cruises to the western Caribbean and the Bahamas and handles over 1.7 million cruise passengers annually. Three cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International, sail from Texas’ premiere cruise port.