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Published On: Thursday, 27 April 2017

Cruise Ships Contributed $3.2B to the Canadian Economy in 2016

Cruise Ships Contributed $3.2B to the Canadian Economy in 2016
Passenger visits to all Canadian ports totaled 2.23 million in 2016, an increase of 9% over the 2.05 million visit recorded in 2012.

NANAIMO - Cruise ships, together with their passengers and crew, make a significant annual contribution to the Canadian economy – and cruise industry spending is increasing at a healthy rate in all three of Canada’s major coastal cruise regions – BC, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Those are among the findings of a new study detailing the economic impact of the cruise industry in Canada – including everything from spending by cruise lines home-porting and making port calls; to on-shore spending by passengers and crew members; to commissions paid to travel agents across the country.

The study, entitled The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada 2016, was prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) for the Cruise Lines International Association-North West & Canada (CLIA-NWC), the St. Lawrence Cruise Association, the Atlantic Canada Cruise Association and Cruise BC. The study is based on data from 2016 with comparisons to 2012, the last time a comparable study was commissioned.

Total economic impact of $3.2 billion – including direct and indirect spending – increased 34% since 2012, attributed to gains in cruise line, passenger and crew spending, along with increases in business taxes such as those on food, fuel and retail items, and a favourable Canadian exchange rate.

The 9% increase in passenger visits between 2012 and 2016 is about to be eclipsed by a 14% single-year growth forecast for 2017, ensuring further gains in cruise industry spending in the coming year.

Other highlights include:

  • Direct spending by cruise lines in Canada totaled $933 million, including items such as goods and services necessary for cruise operations (food & beverages, fuel, vessel maintenance/repair, equipment & supplies), shore-side staffing, port fees & services, equipment, and advertising & promotion.
  • Direct spending by cruise passengers – including lodging, tours & transportation, food & beverage, and retail – totalled just over half a billion dollars in 2016, a 12% increase since 2012.
  • The number of jobs generated by the industry in Canada – direct and indirect – is estimated at just over 23,000, paying just over $1 billion in salaries and wages. Total employment generated by the cruise industry has increased 31% since 2012.
  • Of the national total, BC accounts for 66% of direct cruise industry spending; Quebec accounts for 15%; Atlantic Canada accounts for 7%. Other provinces and territories also benefit, as recipients of spending on ship provisions, equipment, tourism, advertising and agent commissions.