Spanish ports received more than 7.66 million cruise passengers during 2013, which indicates an increase of 1.3% compared to the year before, and 3,846 boats of this type stopped in Spain, 3.3% more when compared to 2012, according to the State Ports, which cited 1.255 million euros as the amount of business generated by this industry.
Of the more than 60 million tourists that visited Spain, close to 5 million were cruise ship passengers, which means that around 8% of international tourism that came to our country did so through a port. Total employment - direct, indirect, and inferred - generated by the cruise ship industry rose to 26,389 people last year.
During 2013, Spanish ports registered around 19 million euros as the rate of the fare applied to the passengers of cruises during the last year.
In total, 100,284 more cruise passengers than before were counted, keeping in mind that during 2012, a drop of 5.38% in the number of cruise passengers that came to national territory was recorded, with 4.69% less ships.
Close to the 2011 ship record
Considering everything, during the last year, Spanish ports came near the record achieved in 2011 in cruise ship ports of call, which was 3,900 ships of this type. In the last decade, this sector has grown 275%, surpassing 2.7 million visitors to the current 7.6 million.
According to these facts, the ports of the Mediterranean are the preferred destination of cruise passengers, since 68% of passengers, 5.2 million people, came in at one of its ports. In this area, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands deserve special attention, which monopolized 79% of cruise ship tourism from the Mediterranean and 54% of the total for Spain.
It is also worth mentioning that the figures obtained by the port of Valencia (473,000 cruise passengers) were 1.48% less; Malaga (397,000 cruise passengers), with 39% less, and Cartagena (135,000 cruise passengers), 60% more in the last year.
In the peninsular Atlantic and Cantabrian areas, 2013 closed with 825,000 cruise passengers, with standout increases in Bahia de Cadiz (+12%), with more than 375,000 travelers; Vigo with 171,000 travelers (-28%), and A Coruña, with 157,000 passengers, 11.3% more.
In their own way, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife maintained their supplies throughout practically the whole year, consolidating the Canary archipelago as the third most active market in all of Spain, with a total of 1.6 million passengers.
Barcelona and Balearic Islands on the top
According to the most recent facts at the European levels, Barcelona continues to be the European leader and the fourth world port regarding boarding and unloading, and together with the Balearic Islands, when all the islands are totaled, take fifth place in Europe and 16th in the world.
For 2014, State Ports confirmed the arrival of the biggest cruise ship in the world, the 'Allure of the Seas,' from Royal Caribbean, with a 6,000 passenger capacity, in at least three Spanish ports: Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Malaga.
The estimates done by various institutions cite the average spending per cruise passenger at between 50 and 75 euros each day when talking about cruises that dock, and between 200 and 300 euros/day if the cruise uses the port as a base.
“Blue Carpet” Campaign
With this inventory, Spanish ports will turn to the Miami Sea-trade Festival of 2014, which will be held March 10th-13th, its 30th celebration. It's the most important forum of the sector at the worldwide level, where more than 800 companies from all over the world gather.
It's important to remember that the American market is the most potent in this sector and it makes up more than half of cruise passengers in the whole world.
The Spanish pavilion at the festival, under the slogan 'Blue Carpet', will display their offers during the most important competition in the world for the cruise industry, where the Port Authorities and Ports of the Generalitat will meet in their close to 600 sq. m; in addition to around 70 companies from the port community, businesses, city halls, and trustees, etc.
State Ports launched a campaign in 2013 named 'Blue Carpet' based on the concept that ports are the gateway to our country.
Among the companies that will promote their services and products in the Spanish pavilion are Trasmediterranea, the tourism operator BC Agency, Berge, Bodegas Enate, Freixenet, Mahou-San Miguel, who will present the Spanish brand as a destination that allows tourists access to cultural, gastronomic, scenic, and recreational offerings from Heliocare, IFC, and Natura Bisse (cosmetic), as well as Borges, Chocolates Valor, Licor 43, and Porto-Muiños, which will provide their products for the restaurant for 'Ports of Spain.'