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Cruises growing in popularity, study finds

26 January 2009 11:01

Cruises growing in popularity, study finds

Europe is the 'new centre of gravity' for cruising as embarkation numbers soar and the industry creates more jobs, according to a new study.

The study conducted by the European Cruise Council (ECC) found that the industry was two years ahead of its forecast numbers, creating nearly a quarter of a million jobs and injecting billions into the EU economy.

Italy was the favoured cruise destination with 3.4 million passengers in 2006, while the Canary Islands attracted some 2.8 million cruisers.

David Dingle, chairman of the European Cruise Council and CEO of cruise line Carnival UK, said that the flow on effects from the popularity of cruising went into creating an average of 21 jobs for every one million euros spent.

"[The report shows] a raft of impressive growth statistics which show how fast the cruise sector is growing in importance to European economies - embarkation figures are up 20 per cent, passenger visits are up 21 per cent, direct expenditure is up by 27 per cent and ship construction is up by 32 per cent," he added.

Travel insurance specialists said that getting sick at sea is one of the most costly holiday misadventures, so getting appropriate cover is a must.