The capacity of the cruise sector in Spain could reach the levels of 2019, a year in which its turnover was close to 6 billion euros, contributing 2.8 billion euros to the national GDP, according to the data from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The volume of scales scheduled for this fiscal year in Spain, where the mid-high season is just beginning, would be close to that of the year prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.
Spain is considered one of the leading countries in the world in terms of inbound cruise passengers. The record achieved in 2018 with more than 10.1 million inbound cruise passengers and 4,360 cruise ships, was surpassed in 2019 with a growth of 4.8%, exceeding 10.6 million cruise passengers.
These figures make Spain the second European country in the number of cruise passengers, placing several Spanish ports among the leaders in the European rankings, with Barcelona at the top of the list among the world's leading ports, followed by the ports of the Balearic and Canary Islands.
The director of CLIA in Spain, Alfredo Serrano, points out that this is "very good news as it is not only a recognition of the attractions of our country and the multitude of options offered by our destinations but also one more step towards the consolidation of the recovery; an economic stimulus for many coastal areas that were hit hard by the paralysis of tourism".
The Association has indicated that the outlook for the cruise sector in Spain this year is very positive and that the industry accounts for an important economic contribution for the cities in which it is developed.
For every 24 cruise passengers, the equivalent of one full-time job is created. In addition, on average, each cruiser spends 660 euros on the destinations they visit over the course of a seven-day cruise.
On the demand side, studies recently conducted by CLIA in eight markets in Europe, North America and Australia show that around 90% of cruisers surveyed in Spain would be likely to embark on a cruise again in the next few years. In addition, about 90% of non-cruisers surveyed in Spain would be open to cruising in the next few years.
The cruise industry has implemented strict sanitary protocols to mitigate COVID-19. A decision, according to CLIA, that is highly valued by users who rate "very positively" the measures taken by the industry to return to normal levels in a responsible and sustainable manner.
More Than 550,000 Spanish Cruise Passengers
On the other hand, the Association's data show that more than 550,000 Spanish travelers chose a cruise as a vacation option during 2019, a figure that positions Spain as the fourth largest issuing market in Europe.
In terms of its economic contribution, CLIA has estimated that the industry generated more than 50,000 jobs and its turnover amounted to nearly 6 billion euros.
Since the tourism reactivation began after the hardest stage of the pandemic, more than six million customers have already embarked on a cruise trips.
Nearly 100% of the ships that make up CLIA's fleet are expected to be in service this month of August, with 2022 being a "vital" year in the face of recovery to pre-pandemic passenger volumes (more than 29 million) in 2023.