The Port of A Coruña could again break the record for cruise ships and cruise passengers in 2018

The Port of A Coruña will record a new record in cruise traffic next year, surpassing the peak reached in 2017. Adding passengers and crew, it is expected that some 255,000 visitors will arrive by sea in the city of A Coruña, the vast majority of them foreigners, which will have an enormous economic impact valued at around 15 million euros, including port taxes and tariffs, expenditure made by passengers and crew members, as well as payments to tour operators, carriers or provisions. This is how the president of the Port Authority, Enrique Losada, advanced it in the presentation of the Annual Economic Contribution Report, prepared by CLIA Spain (International Cruise Line Association) in which the data of the cruise sector in 2018 and 2019 were made public. In fact, for next year there are already 130 stopovers contracted for this exercise, in which around 190,000 passengers are expected.

The cruise sector is strategic for the Port of A Coruña precisely because of its contribution to the economic growth of the city and to the revitalisation of tourism, as well as its contribution to the deseasonalisation of tourism, as shown by the 2019 calendar, where the high seasons will be spring and autumn, with the forecast of 23 berths and 35,000 passengers in May and 21 stopovers and 32,000 cruise passengers in October. The large number of visits will be the usual trend next year, as a total of 24 stopovers with a capacity of more than 3,000 passengers are scheduled. An important part of them are foreign cruise ship passengers, coming from many countries of the world, who also stand out for their loyalty to the product and for their spending capacity, among which the British and Germans stand out, although the influx of visitors from other European countries such as Ireland, Austria, France or the Netherlands is also significant. There is also a notable presence of Americans, Canadians, Australians and Brazilians. Most of the visitors are English-speaking, who usually visit the city walking through the area of La Marina and Parrote, Ciudad Vieja, Plaza de María Pita and its surroundings. They are often interested in local gastronomy and shopping in small shops and take a very good impression of the city, which they choose to visit in more than 85% of cases, as only a residual percentage choose excursions to other localities.

Continued growth
Since 2009 there has been an exponential growth that has evolved from 54,000 passengers to more than 184,000 registered in 2017. A Coruña managed to position itself as the leading port on the Cantabrian-Atlantic coast, from Lisbon to France, both in terms of number of cruise passengers and stopovers. This year this position is maintained, with a forecast at the end of the year of 160,000 passengers and 50,000 crew members, making a total of 210,000 visitors on board 93 ships, which will have coincided on a multiple scale in a total of 16 days, thus multiplying the influx of tourists to the city. In this regard, the report highlights that it is particularly relevant that the port of A Coruña has grown from 2016 to 2017 by 45%, reaching 184,069 passenger movements accumulated since January, and that 2 of the Galician ports are among the 10 Spanish ports with the highest movement of cruise passengers.

Spain is among the top five countries in Europe to benefit most from the cruise industry and is the fourth largest market for passengers. It is also the second destination for cruise ships with options for leadership. Between 2015, the date of the last study, and 2017, the total economic impact of cruise ships in Spain grew by 11%, with a figure of 4,252 million euros. In addition, the number of direct jobs generated in 2017 was 12,718, 8% more than in 2015, and expenditure on wages and other remuneration in 2017 was 416 million euros, 11% more than two years earlier.

Direct expenditure by crew and passengers in Spanish destinations in 2017 amounted to 628 million euros, 15% more than in 2015. To this expenditure must be added the rest of direct expenses such as those incurred by the shipping companies themselves when the ships are in port or those derived from the repair and remodelling of ships, as well as the indirect and induced impacts up to 4,252 million euros of total economic impact.
Passengers who boarded from Spanish ports spent an average of 154 euros, while passengers on board spent an average of 45 euros. For the crew embarking in the Spanish port, the average expenditure was 9 euros, while the average expenditure for those crew members on board was 22 euros.

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