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Cruise activity at the Port of Barcelona contributes € 413 M to Catalan GDP

Cruise activity at the Port of Barcelona contributes € 413 M to Catalan GDP

Cruise activity in Barcelona generates total turnover of € 796 million and contributes € 413.2 million a year to Catalonia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the results of a study commissioned by the Port of Barcelona and conducted by the University of Barcelona’s AQR-Lab Laboratory of Applied Economics in collaboration with Barcelona Tourism.

The study, presented today by Sixte Cambra, President of the Port of Barcelona, Jordi Suriñach, Director of the University of Barcelona’s AQR-Lab Laboratory of Applied Economics and Professor of Applied Economics, with Jordi William Carnes, Director-General of Barcelona Tourism in attendance, calculates the direct impact(1) of the key stakeholders in cruise activity, the indirect(2) and induced(3) impact, as well as the catalyst effects of this sector on the economy.

The report reveals that direct expenditure arising from cruise activities amounted to € 442.5 million a year, split between three main spending agents: shipping companies (121.2 million), cruise passengers (315.8 million) and crews (5.5 million). This initial expenditure generates an indirect and induced turnover of € 353.5 million, which puts the total turnover of the cruise activity at € 796 million.

The study also highlights that the volume of activity represents a contribution of € 413.2 million to Catalonia’s GDP and maintains 6,759 jobs. It also generates tax income of € 152 million in State and regional taxes and in tourist tax. Barcelona is the main beneficiary of this activity, since 75% of the total effect stays in Barcelona (a € 313.4 million contribution to GDP and 5,039 jobs in absolute terms).

Port President Sixte Cambra underscored the significant contribution of the study “to assessing the real economic and social dimension of a traffic segment which in recent years has become very important as a source of investment, employment and economic activity”.

To make these figures easier to understand, the explains that the arrival of cruise ships at the Port of Barcelona entails a daily turnover of € 2.2 million in Catalonia (€ 1.7 million of which in the city of Barcelona). In other words, every cruise ship that stops over in the Port of Barcelona generates, on average, a total turnover of one million euros; it contributes half a million euros to Catalan GDP and maintains nine jobs (seven of which in Barcelona). In addition, each cruiser stopover contributes € 200,000 in tax revenues (VAT, income tax and corporation tax).

Multiplier effects on various sectors

The research by the University of Barcelona also highlights the important multiplier effects arising from cruiser activity, which almost double the direct impact attributed to three main spending agents. € 80 are generated in additional indirect and induced turnover for every € 100 of direct expenditure; every € 100 of GVA generated directly creates an additional € 83 of GVA; and for every 100 direct employees there are 68 more jobs thanks to the indirect and induced impact.
In addition, the study shows that, far from benefiting only from typical tourist activities, the cruise sector generates significant positive effects in other sectors of the economy. This multiplication of benefits to different economic segments is based on the distribution of jobs that arise from cruise activity: while 3,995 jobs are generated in tourism sectors, the remaining 2,764 occur in sectors as diverse as logistics, food manufacturing, the metal industry, chemical industries, medical services or waste management and sanitation services, inter alia.

Profile of the cruise passenger

Thanks to the data provided by Barcelona Tourism based on surveys of more than 3,100 cruise passengers during 2014, the study identifies a detailed profile of cruise passengers visiting Barcelona. On the basis of this profile and the fact that in 2014 the Port of Barcelona recorded a total of 2,364,292 cruise passenger movements, it is worth noting that cruise passengers who visit the city and do not stay overnight spend an average of 4.3 hours in the city, which represents 57.5% of passenger movements (1,360,271 people).
Moreover, passengers in turnaround (who start and end their journey in Barcelona) that stay overnight in the city remain an average of 2.6 nights and account for 23.9% of cruise passenger movements (565,400 people) while the remaining 18.6% corresponds to passengers that embark and/or disembark directly with no overnight stays and without visiting the city (438,621 people movements).
Cruise passengers arriving in Barcelona usually travel in pairs to visit the city, go shopping, visit cultural sites and enjoy the food. 94% of cruise passengers that stay the night in the city lodge in a hotel (compared to 47.5% of tourists on holiday in Barcelona). The study also specifies the average cost of different types of cruise passengers: sight-seeing cruise passengers (who visit the city but do not stay overnight) spend € 53 on average; tourist cruise passengers (who do spend the night in Barcelona) spend € 202 per day compared to holiday tourists in the city (who stay in a hotel), who spend an average of € 156.

Catalyst effects

The research conducted by the University of Barcelona highlights some of the catalyst effects of cruise activity on the Port. The impact on El Prat airport is an emblematic case, since Barcelona’s importance as a homeport for cruisers and the fact that 78% of cruise passengers in turnaround use the plane has been decisive in creating and maintaining international flights (such as those from the US, Canada and also the Emirates for the Australian market).
The cruise sector also has significant effects on the land transport of passengers, since it provides a stable and continuous demand throughout the year for all branches of passenger transport. Furthermore, the sustained demand helped maintain jobs for transport firms that are not specific to the tourism sector.

Other effects

This study takes into account other qualitative factors such as concentration and the environment.
Regarding concentration, Jordi Suriñach pointed out that “the fact that Barcelona is a homeport and therefore most passengers start and/or end their cruise at the port, means that their visit and/or stay in the city is drawn out for more hours and days”. Regarding the 1.1 million cruise-goers in transit (with a stay in the city about 4 hours) Mr Suriñach pointed out that this is manageable because stopovers are booked two years in advance, which makes it possible to know in detail how many cruise passengers will be in the city every day of the year. This forward planning makes it easier to manage and organise the flow of cruise passengers with the city.
As far as environmental impact is concerned, the report notes that cruisers generate 1.2% of the NOx present in the air of Barcelona and less than 0.2% of the solid particles in suspension in the city’s air. President Sixte Cambra announced that the Port is preparing a specific study on the effects of cruise activity on the Catalan capital, the results of which will be announced in the coming months.

Conclusions of the study

Cruiser activity at the Port of Barcelona:

• generates annual turnover of € 796 million in Catalonia (2.2 million each day);
• contributes € 413 million to Catalonia’s GDP;
• generates € 152 million in tax revenue;
• maintains nearly 7,000 full-time jobs;
• provides connectivity flights to Barcelona airport and economic stability in other sectors of the city;
• not only does it benefit the sectors linked to tourism but also to other industrial and service sectors;
• corresponds to a profile of cruise passenger that usually travels as a couple, with considerable interest in getting to know the city and is a good prescriber (90% want to return and recommend the city to friends and acquaintances).

About the Port of Barcelona

Barcelona is the top cruise port in Europe and the Mediterranean and occupies fourth place in the world cruise port rankings (preceded only by three Caribbean ports located in the state of Florida: Miami, Port Everglades and Port Canaveral). € 109 million were invested in cruiser infrastructure between 2000 and 2014 at the Port of Barcelona, which now has six international cruise terminals.
The Port is planning a seventh installation (Terminal E), to be built and managed by Carnival Corporation, one of the world’s leading cruise operators, with an investment of € 30 million.

1 Direct impact: measures the direct impact of the costs incurred by the main players in cruise activities (shipping companies, cruise ships and crews).
2 Indirect impact: measures the effect generated by the increase in expenditure by these players on production and employment of the direct and indirect providers (i.e., over the entire supply chain as a result of the intersections between sectors).
3 Induced impact: measures the effect on production and employment generated from the income gained from direct and indirect employment, and its subsequent application to consumption.

Image: Flickr

Source: Port of Barcelona

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