PEMBROKE PINES, FL:--- For more than 20 years, destinations have increased their cruise tourism benefits by hosting the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean and Latin America. From triple-digit growth in passenger and vessel arrivals to the development of new piers and cruise destinations, event hosts have directly benefited from spotlighting their products, experiences and infrastructure to 1,000 stakeholders and the industry's most influential decision makers-over 100 executives, presidents and CEOs from FCCA's Member Lines. Mérida, Mexico will target these benefits by hosting the event from October 23-27.
"I believe one of the cruise industry's greatest assets is the economic contribution it brings to the destinations," said Michele Paige, president of the FCCA. "The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show was born to help all involved maximize that economic boom, which is more important than ever as the destinations rebound from devastating hurricanes and earthquakes, and I look forward to helping all attendees tap into this potential, while also experiencing Mérida's culture, experiences and ability to organize an event of this magnitude."
Mérida knows the significance of hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show because of watching the results in Cozumel, which hosted the event twice. After first hosting it in 2007, Cozumel experienced a more than 21 percent jump in passenger arrivals between 2006 and 2008. And riding the wave after recently hosting it in 2015, Cozumel looks poised to welcome a world's-leading 3.82 million FCCA Member Line passengers in 2018, catapulting from 2.65 million in 2013-a 44 percent increase, and 88 percent more than 2006.
As Mérida recognizes, these passenger numbers extend far beyond the cruise pier; they directly benefit the economy, with Progreso receiving $23.9 million, in addition to 609 jobs paying $3.6 million in wages, through cruise tourism's direct economic impacts, per the the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) 2015 study,
Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.
These numbers represent direct benefits for local citizens, with $16.8 million in passenger spending and $1.8 million in crew spending going towards the purchases of goods and services, including food and beverage at restaurants and bars, shore excursions, ground transportation and retail purchases. And the $5.4 million in cruise line expenditures went to taxes and fees, port costs and purchases of local products and services. Plus, cruise tourism brings indirect contributions like supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities, as well as spending from cruise passengers who return as stay-over guests.
By these numbers, a 20 percent passenger volume increase means a large economic boost for Mérida and the state of Yucatán. Progreso expects more than 400,000 FCCA Member Line passengers this year through 132 calls, so besides bringing an additional 80,000 passengers and 26 calls, that 20 percent surge would provide approximately an extra $6.62 million to the economy through an additional $4.63 million in passenger spending, $493,000 in crew spending and $1.49 million in cruise line spending. Plus, the destination would see commensurate increases in its employment wages and indirect contributions.
Even a single call from a mid-sized ship (130,000 GRT with 3,000 passengers and 1,250 crew) would carry a large economic wake, generating roughly $285,080-$173,640 in passenger spending, $55,440 in crew spending and about $56,000 in cruise line expenditures.
Considering the potential economic boom, it becomes easy to understand why Mérida and the state of Yucatan decided to invest in its economy and cruise tourism by hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.
FCCA Press Release