World’s biggest cruise ship helps boost Puerto Rico tourism

Image result for harmony of the seas in Puerto Rico

Harmony of the Seas

SAN JUAN (AP) — The world’s biggest cruise ship has docked in Puerto Rico for the first time as the U.S. territory reports a boost in tourism amid an economic crisis.

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas arrived Wednesday in the historic district of the capital of San Juan. The ship can carry up to 6,700 passengers and 2,300 crew members.

The arrival follows an $8 million port renovation.

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla says Puerto Rico expects to welcome a record 1.7 million cruise ship passengers next year.

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Cruising said to be a $42 billion business in U.S.

Cruising said to be a $42 billion business in U.S.

By Tom Stieghorst
The U.S. economic impact of the cruise industry grew 4.6% last year to $42 billion, according to a study done annually for CLIA.

That compares with an increase in the U.S. gross domestic product of 2.2% in 2012.

Direct spending by the cruise lines was pegged at $19.6 billion, up 4%, according to the study by Business and Economic Research Associates.

The study said the cruise industry generates 356,311 jobs in the U.S with wages of over $17 billion.

North American cruise lines carried 16.95 million passengers last year, a 3.8% advance over 2011.

Florida, which accounted for 60% of cruise embarkations, benefited the most from the cruise industry, garnering 36% of all spending.

Ten states account for 80% of the cruise industry’s economic impact: Florida, California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Alaska, Georgia, Washington and New Jersey.