Caribbean, Mexican, and Latin American Cruise Hubs Cashing In

Cruise tourism generated USD 3.16 billion in direct expenditures across 35 Caribbean, Mexican, and Latin American destinations during 2014/15 season, with 23.6 million passengers disembarking ships and visiting these regions, according to an analysis published by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA).

The cruise industry also provided 75,050 jobs and USD 976 million in employee wages among participating destinations during the 2014/2015 cruise year.

The main driver-average expenditure per passenger increased to USD 103.83, 8.25 percent higher than the 2011/2012 cruise year and accounting for USD 2.45 billion.

Contributing to this increase were passengers spending 30 percent more per passenger on shore excursions, 20 percent more per passenger for local crafts and souvenirs and two percent more for food and beverages, along with a higher percentage of passengers making purchases in each of these categories.

Other key findings from the study include that 63 percent of passengers made their first visit at the destination; 93.7 percent went ashore; 65 percent made onshore purchases; and passengers spent an average 4.38 hours ashore.

The study was released at the 22nd annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel itself participated in the study and ranked third in overall expenditures with USD 365 million.

St. Maarten led all destinations with nearly USD 423 million, followed by the Bahamas with USD 373 million.