Cruises, an opportunity for tourism in Galicia

Cruise tourism is on the rise. And to show some data: According to the International Association of Cruise Lines (CLIA) in 2017 this sector will exceed 25 million passengers that will be able to travel in 26 new oceanic and fluvial boats that will be able to be launched during this year. In addition, if we are referring to Spanish cruisers, this same entity explains that in 2015, 466,000 Spaniards chose a cruise to enjoy their vacations, which represented a growth of about 3% over the previous year. Of these, 71% have repeated experience, and no less than 58% have made a cruise three or more occasions. If we stick to the figures in Galician ports, last year a total of 195 cruises arrived, one more than in 2015 with a total of 301,815 passengers (-18% compared to 2015), still far from the large Spanish ports, That closed exercise bordering the 6 million cruisers.

The best results in number of cruises have been for the port of A Coruña but Vigo has continued to score better in number of cruisers. However, if the forecasts of the Port Authority of A Coruña, which have already closed 121 stopovers that will bring to the city to more than 170,000 cruise passengers, this 2017 will be the first year in which the dock Corunna surpasses in passengers to the one of Vigo.

However, beyond the strength of one or another port, determined by the special circumstances of each (distance, draft, logistics, agreements with shipping companies, etc.), the most important thing is to overcome seasonality and work in a coordinated way to win the market, Making Galicia a hub of cruise routes, just as it would be for air traffic. The main competitor, as it happens with the airports, is again Porto, namely the passenger terminal of Leixões. Improving port facilities and combating the seasonality of this market by opening new routes are two of the major challenges of this market since most of the cruises that arrive in Galicia do it between May and September, ie at the change of station Of routes and Galicia is left outside the routes of summer and winter. For all this, Galicia has to continue strengthening its position in this booming business sector, working to increase the total number, regardless of the port of destination. Do not forget that a cruise ship leaves between 50 and 80 euros on average in the city that have repercussions both in trade and in catering.