More than 6 million passengers embarked on cruises from Florida ports in 2012, a tiny uptick from the previous year that allowed the state to hold on to its 60 percent share of the U.S. market.
According to a report released Tuesday by the Cruise Lines International Association, an industry group, the cruise industry generated $7 billion in direct spending in Florida, 36 percent of the overall $19.6 billion spent across the country. That’s a slight increase from 2011, when the figure was $6.7 billion in Florida.
More than 131,000 Florida residents are employed by the cruise industry, the report says. Headquarters for the world’s largest cruise ship companies, including Carnival Corp., Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line, are all in Miami-Dade.
Overall, 10.1 million passengers embarked on cruises from ports in the U.S. last year, an increase of 2.5 percent from 2011. Around the world, 16.9 million passengers took cruises on North American member lines in 2012, an increase of 3.8 percent over the previous year.