Cruises demand more support from tourist destinations

Spain surpasses France as the fourth cruise ship issuer market in Europe

The national director of CLIA Spain, the association that groups the cruise industry in our country, Alfredo Serrano, calls for greater support to cruise ports by tourist destinations as it ensures that “the greatest beneficiaries of the cruise activity it’s the cities themselves. ”

“The cruise passengers do not want to visit ports want to visit cities or attractive environments of their own destination,” said the director in an interview with Europa Press, who demands more determined support for an industry that generates employment and benefits “both residents and the establishments “.

And is that the massive arrival of tourists through cruises to destinations such as Barcelona, ​​Palma de Mallorca, Venice or Dubrovnik, has pointed to this activity as part of the problem of saturation of some destinations and the ‘turismofobia’ generated in some cases , a vision that does not share this industry in its entirety.

For Serrano, “it is not fair to be responsible for someone who contributes 8% of the number of visitors to the problems of congestion and saturation that a city may have.”

According to a report prepared by the University of Barcelona, ​​the cruise activity in the port of Ciudad Condal generated a total turnover in Catalonia of 1,082.9 million euros in 2016, the latest data available.

In addition, the activity has allowed the maintenance of some 9,000 full-time jobs contributing to the GDP of Catalonia in 562.3 million euros and the GDP of Barcelona in 410.9 million euros.

“With all these data it is concluded that the economic contribution is very significant, while the impact on tourism congestion is not as significant,” said Serrano.

In 2017 it is estimated that 25.8 million passengers traveled by cruise, a figure that represents an increase of 20.5% in the last five years (2011-2016). And its potential for expansion is still “very large” since they only represent 2% of the total number of tourists mobilized globally for leisure.


Spain has overtaken France as the fourth most important passenger market in Europe, with a growth of 6.4% between 2016 and 2017. The Spanish market almost triples the growth of the European average, an increase that indicates a greater confidence of the consumer with the sector.

Following the upward trend of 2015 and 2016, during this last year 510,000 Spaniards enjoyed a cruise, 31,000 more than in 2016, with the Mediterranean being the most popular option.

Worldwide, the first market is the United States with 11.5 million cruise passengers, followed by China with 2.1 million. “Spain occupies the tenth position worldwide with nearly half a million Spanish cruise passengers encouraged by the improvement of the economic situation,” explained Serrano.

To meet the current demand, it is expected that more ships will sail during this year. According to CLIA data in 2018, cruise lines are expected to offer 27 new maritime, fluvial and specialized ships.

The cruise industry is in a period of expansion throughout the world, with orders for almost a decade due to the process of renewing the fleet, both environmental aspects and experience for passengers.


Many of these new boats will be destined to the Asian market, a market in continuous expansion that currently exceeds two million passengers in 2017, occupying the second position after the United States (13 million cruise passengers) is registering strong growth in recent years and his forecasts “are very promising”.

“It is expected that China will consolidate in this second position taking into account that more and more ships are positioning themselves to China and it is a market in full international tourist expansion”.

Regarding the Mediterranean destinations, one of the favorites for the Spaniards Serrano said that it is not congested and that it still has a long route “far from saturation”.


The profile of the cruise passenger has varied in recent years, covering all ages and social and economic segments. Thus, in the case of Spain, it is the second European market with the youngest cruise profile, driven by greater seasonality and a more personalized offer.

A trend that will mark the future of the sector along with environmental improvements and the commitment to technology and connectivity in which the industry is making multimillion dollar investments in the cruise fleet as well as terminals and ports.

The shipping companies are very committed to sustainability and the boats are increasingly modern and efficient. Currently, a cruise consumes up to 70% less fuel than it did 20 years ago.

In Europe, cruises only represent 1.2% of the total emissions generated by ships in ports. Despite this, companies have invested more than 1,000 million dollars in recent years in new technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce gas emissions.

“The industry is doing a lot to contribute to offering increasingly less polluting ships by carrying out some of the most innovative strategies of recycling, reduction and reuse of waste in the world”, defend from CLIA.