North American cruise industry posts record high for global passenger traffic in 2002

US. An estimated 9.2 million passengers took cruises worldwide during 2002, up 9.8% year-on-year, according to a study commissioned by the International Council of Cruise Lines.

The increased passenger traffic generated some US$20.4 billion in economic activity within the US in 2002.

According to the report, over 80%, or 7.5 million, of the global passengers were US residents, up +10.5% from the previous year. Industry capacity increased by +13% over 2001.

“The cruise industry was one of the bright spots in the US economy during 2002, particularly for the hard hit travel and tourism sector,” said ICCL president J. Michael Crye. “Our growth has ripple effects across the entire US economy. Cruise line passengers spend money in port cities, our lines employ thousands of American residents and the industry is a significant purchaser of US goods and services.”

The report noted that the cruise industry has continued to stimulate consumer demand by deploying more ships in the North American market, increasing the number of shorter cruises and cruises that originate in drive-to markets, and lowering fares. These moves especially attracted first-time cruisers, and provided an opportunity to broaden the industry’s penetration into the vacation market.

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