Cruises and related activities continue to be some of Florida’s biggest economic drivers.
According to Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools, the cruise industry supported 146,401 jobs in 2014, paying $6.82 billion in wages, a growth of 8.4 percent over 2013. Total income – through direct expenditures – also increased 4.6 percent. Taking into account indirect spending, the cruise ship industry gave rise to nearly $46 billion in statewide economic impact.
An industry survey found the number of U.S.-based passengers also grew by 5.8 percent, reaching 11.33 million. Passengers embarking from U.S. ports rose nearly 14 percent, more than international passenger growth in regions such as the Mediterranean, which are still reeling from a slower European economy.
The three busiest ports in Florida are Miami — home to three leading cruise lines — Fort Lauderdale, and Cape Canaveral.