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PR- 091-12
March 13, 2012


In 2011, Over 632,000 Passengers Spent Nearly $150 Million in New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that the cruise industry generated a total economic impact of $239 million for New York City in 2011 – a new record. The 2011 Economic Impact Study detailed an increase of nearly 50,000 passengers from 2010, to over 632,000 combined embarking and transit passengers in 2011. These passengers, along with crew, spent approximately $149.8 million in New York City in 2011. Overall, the study showed significant growth in all sectors of the City’s cruise industry with an 11 percent increase in ship calls, a 9 percent increase in passengers, and a 3 percent increase in spending over the previous year. The findings confirm that cruising continues to be an important component of the City’s tourism industry, which reached its goal of attracting 50 million annual visitors one year ahead of schedule, in 2011. The City welcomed a record 50.5 million visitors last year who collectively spent $32 billion. Tourism is now the City’s fifth largest industry, impacting 320,000 local jobs.

“The millions of tourists who visit New York City each year come here by plane, train, automobile and, increasingly, cruise ship,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This report is more proof that the investments we’ve made and the work we’ve done to support the cruise industry are now paying off. Our record number of 50.5 million visitors in 2011 shows that there has never been a more exciting time to visit New York City, and that’s great news for our economy. The cruise industry produces jobs and spending that are vital to our continued economic growth.”

“The growing success of the cruise industry in New York is evidence of the impact of two of Mayor Bloomberg’s signature policy initiatives: encouraging tourism and reconnecting New Yorkers to our waterfront,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said. “With a record number of tourists visiting New York and our water as clean as it’s been in a century, we are confident that the cruise industry will continue to thrive in New York.”

“The $239 million in economic impact generated by New York City’s cruise industry is further confirmation of the Bloomberg Administration’s successful efforts to promote this important sector,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “With passenger and ship call numbers at all-time highs, the future of the City’s cruise industry as a generator for jobs and economic activity remains bright.”

“The cruise sector is an important component of New York City’s $32 billion tourism industry,” said George Fertitta, NYC & Company’s CEO. “With the increase in the number of cruise ships calling on New York City, there are more opportunities than ever before for travelers to take advantage of pre- and post-cruise visits, and experience the unique energy, diversity and optimism of the five boroughs.”

New York City ranks among the nation’s top five cruise ports due its dining, shopping, entertainment, cultural and lodging options. In 2011: Ship calls at the Manhattan and Brooklyn Cruise Terminals increased to 267, from 241 in 2010;  passengers increased from 582,979 in 2010 to 632,923 in 2011; and spending by passengers and crew increased from $144.6 million in 2010 to $149.8 million in 2011.

Spending was broken out into three categories: embarking passengers, who began their cruise in New York City, transit passengers, who took cruises that stopped in the city, and crew. Embarking passengers were the largest spenders with an estimated $121.9 million in direct spending, followed by on shore crew spending at $23.9 million, and transit passenger spending at $4 million. The largest spending categories for embarking passengers were hotel accommodations at over $61.8 million and food and beverages at over $17.2 million.

The majority of cruise passengers continue to come from outside the City. These passengers often do pre- or post-cruise stays at a New York City hotel, leading to the highest average spending per passenger at $442 during a two night stay. NYC & Company recently launched a new cruise microsite at that includes information for consumers on the city’s cruise terminals as well as local events and suggested pre- and post-cruise itineraries.

NYCEDC currently projects the numbers of passengers and ship calls to remain at all-time high levels, with an expected 634,000 combined embarking and transit passengers and 260 ship calls in 2012.

The economic impact numbers are the culmination of a year of positive developments for the City’s cruise industry. Last April the City announced that, beginning in May 2012, the Disney Magic would make New York City its homeport and sail 20 cruises from the Manhattan Cruise Terminal Disney will become the sixth major cruise line to make New York City its homeport, joining Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal, along with Cunard and Princess at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

In June 2011, the City announced that the Carnival Miracle would make New York City its year-round homeport beginning in April 2012. The Carnival Miracle will become the third major cruise ship to call year-round in New York City.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced in October 2011 that their  new state-of-the-art 4,000 passenger ship, Norwegian Breakaway, will make New York City its year-round home port once it is built. The Norwegian Breakaway will begin making calls in May 2013, and will become the largest ship ever to call in New York City.

Supporting the cruise industry is part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn in May 2011. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs. It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.

Full results of the study are available for download at


Stu Loeser/Julie Wood   (212) 788-2958

Patrick Muncie/Kyle Sklerov   (Economic Development Corporation)
(212) 312-3523

Kimberly Spell/Chris Heywood   (NYC and Company)
(212) 484-1270


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