More than 11,000 cruise industry professionals from around the globe are in Miami Beach this week to attend Cruise Shipping Miami 2013. As the world’s largest cruise conference and trade show, this annual event serves to remind us of the important role the cruise industry plays in the state of Florida.
Nearly two-thirds of the 10 million cruise vacationers embarking from the United States depart from a Florida Port. PortMiami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades lead the way with each port welcoming close to four million passengers annually. These ports are by far the world’s busiest cruise ports and the numbers are only expected to grow in coming years, providing a significant boost to local and state economies.
Cruise industry activities impact virtually every industry in our state — from hotels and restaurants that benefit from pre- and post-cruise business to agricultural and other food-related enterprises that provide the tons of provisions loaded onto to the giant cruise ships several days a week.
The cruise industry supports thousands of jobs and generates an estimated $5.2 billion in wages for Florida workers.
For nearly 30 years, Cruise Shipping Miami has been the premier event for this all important industry. As chairman of the Florida Ports Council, representing Florida’s 15 deepwater ports, I am proud to welcome this distinguished international gathering of cruise professionals to South Florida.
We appreciate the business you generate — keep those cruise passengers coming!
Bill Johnson, director, PortMiami