Cruise passengers spent over €500 per person in 2016

An increase of 20% compared to 2014, with trend expected to continue in future

Crusieship passengers disembarking at Barcelona port (by ACN)
Crusieship passengers disembarking at Barcelona port (by ACN) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 23, 2018 01:30 PM

Cruise passengers that came to Barcelona in 2016 spent an average of 518 euros per person, an increase of 20% compared to 2014, according to a study of the ‘Impact of cruiseship passengers on Barcelona’ carried out by the International Association of Cruise Lines (IACL) presented on Tuesday.

This increase is mainly due to a growth of 28% of Barcelona as a port base. It was also put down to the fact that passengers, even though increasing by 1% each year, are spending more money, a tendency that is expected to continue in the future.

The general director of IACL Spain, Alfredo Serrano, explained that the political crisis has not affected the industry, although he called for “stability” in the future.

It’s a sector that is very sensitive to change, as plans are made in advance,” he warned. He commended the agreement between Barcelona City Council and the port of reordering the cruiseship terminals and reducing them from 8 to 7, freeing up 14,000 metres squared for citizen use.

In 2017, a total of 2.7 million cruise passengers visited Barcelona. In fact, during her electoral campaign in 2015, the Barcelona mayor, Ada Colau, said she would try and cut down on the number of cruise ship passengers flooding the city.

Big spenders

73% of this spending stays in the Catalan capital. The areas that most benefit are Ciutat Vella, in the centre, and Eixample. The report also estimates that cruise activity creates jobs for 9,056 people throughout Catalonia, 6,809 of which are in Barcelona. If it were not for the cruise industry, the report stated that in 2016, unemployment in Barcelona would have been at 12.5% instead of 11.5%.