COZUMEL, Mexico – The FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show — the largest cruise conference in the Caribbean and Mexico – is under way.
The four-day event is gathering nearly 1,000 cruise tourism stakeholders for a series of meetings, workshops and networking functions with more than 100 cruise line executives.
“The FCCA Conference & Trade Show puts cruise tourism stakeholders in the middle of the action,” said Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the FCCA, who will be on hand throughout the event.
“From tour operators launching their first tour to destinations building a new port, this is the place where decisions and developments are reached and relationships are made to pave the way for future business.”
Taking place until October 9, the event opened with Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line, delivering the keynote address. The official Trade Show opening and ribbon cutting followed at 11 am-12 pm. These events are opening up opportunities to learn from and develop business and relationships with successful stakeholders, along with cruise executives who decide where ships call, what sells onboard and how to invest in destination products and infrastructure.
“The FCCA appreciates Cozumel’s and the entire country’s efforts and commitment to making the 22nd annual FCCA Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “It has pulled out all the stops to woo the cruise executives and attendees, allowing all to see the offerings of and dedication to cruise tourism that has led it to resurging as one of the world’s leading cruise destinations.”
Cozumel and Mexico experienced the significance of impressing the event’s prestigious audience; after first hosting it in 2007, Cozumel saw a 21-percent increase in passenger arrivals from FCCA Member Lines from 2006 to 2008. These passengers’ impact extend far beyond the cruise pier, spending $104.58 per passenger during their visit and $205 million total, according to the 2009 Business Research & Economic Advisers (BREA) study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies.
By these numbers, if Cozumel’s 3.3 million FCCA Member Line passenger arrivals in 2014 grew the same 20 percent, it would represent over $69 million more in passenger spending alone, along with the coinciding increases of employment and crew and cruise line spending, as well as indirect contributions that include supplies purchased by tour operators, restaurants and port authorities.
These direct contributions also bolster the entire country’s economy, to the tune of $565.4 million in passenger, crew and cruise line spending, in addition to 15,990 jobs and $93.5 million in wages generated through cruise tourism and its 5.06 million passenger visits, according to the 2007 BREA study, Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism in Mexico. With Mexico already expecting more than 6.1 million passenger arrivals from FCCA Member Lines next year, the country could see more than $675 million in direct economic impact, along with more than $110 million in wages.
Even a single additional cruise vessel would carry a large economic wake for Cozumel and the country. BREA’s figures show that just one average cruise ship — 130,000 GRT, carrying 3,000 passengers and 500 crewmembers — in Cozumel would generate roughly $374,480 in direct economic contribution, not including employment and indirect contributions.