Do cruise passengers benefit destinations?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
venice at night

Venice from Giudecca at night when cruise ships tend to sail on to their next destination. Image © Denis Cleveland-Peck

In 2015, there were probably about 22 million cruise holidays and the number keep on growing.

According to the World Travel Monitor®, carried out by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin, European holiday makers spend on average spent 107 euros (say £100 for convenience) per night on all holiday trips in 2015 but cruise tourists more than doubled that figure with an average of 218 (£200) euros.

But where are spending this money? It must be primarily on board ship so how much is going to the destinations they visit? Yesterday I wrote that Jamaica has set up an organisation to try and persuade passengers to spend more money onshore as cruise passengers spent a lot less than those holidaying on the island.

In Venice there have been protests at the environmental impacts of cruise liners travelling through the waterways and the impact of a deluge of passengers descending on a small place and then departing every evening.

What may be good for the cruise company and the travel agent may not be good for the destination. Admittedly it means that he destination doesn’t need an array of hotels to cope with the number s of visiting cruise passengers whereas they would if they were ordinary holidaymakers but are the restaurants and the shops seeing less trade?

The destination charges the cruise company for docking tour guides make money as do attractions but are they the only ones? How does a small attraction or one not widely known become part of the cruise ships tours ashore? How many people pay for the tours offered by the cruise ship as opposed to those that are available? Do passengers bother to find out about what other tours are available? Do the fees that ships pay for docking get used in a wider tourist community or do they go into a general revenue fund? Are the monies only used for port development?

The answer is that countries have different way of apportioning the money they make from cruise ship fees. But to say that cruise passengers spend more than holidaymakers probably hides the truth of what that money benefits.


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