COVID-19 : The disappearance of cruise ships caused losses of 2.4 billion and 20,000 jobs in Spain in 2020

There is already data on the losses that the disappearance of cruise ships has meant for the Spanish economy. Between March and September 2020, losses of 63,274 million euros by economic activity, but also 518,000 jobs and also 18,900 million euros in salaries around the world due to the disappearance of cruise ships.

In Spain, the losses rise to 2.4 billion euros for its economic activity along with 20,000 jobs and also 559 million in salaries.

The data comes from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which is the world’s largest cruise ship trade organization, which has envisioned how things are planned in 2021.

In this analysis, the CLIA highlights the severity of the impact on the world economy due to the virtual disappearance of cruise ships last year due to the damage caused by the coronavirus.

As they point out, there is quite optimism and it is thought that two out of three passengers who like cruises want to choose this type of trip for this year. Similarly, 58% of international tourists who have never experienced a cruise are willing to do so in the coming years.

The impact on your economy

Keep in mind that the cruise industry came from a year of great growth in 2019. In that year, the cruise industry created 1.1 million jobs, which is equivalent to 41.522 million euros in salaries and almost 127,000 million euros of total production worldwide in 2019, always according to your data.

In the case of Spain, in 2019 the cruise industry had a turnover of close to 6,000 million euros, which contributes 2,800 million euros to the national GDP. An estimated 50,031 jobs were created in Spain thanks to the cruise industry and 1,500 million euros in salaries were generated.

Barcelona, ​​the most popular in Europe

The cruise industry moved almost 30 million passengers around the world in 2019. In Spain, for its part, the weight of the cruise industry in Spain has been growing in spending, employment and also in total economic impact, consolidating Barcelona as the most popular port in all of Europe.

Spain is the second European market that received the most cruise passengers in 2019 with 10.7 million, which is 49% more than in 2018 and the fourth issuing market, since 553,000 Spanish cruise passengers traveled by cruise in 2019, 4.4 % more compared to 2018.

On the other hand, the average cost of a passenger before boarding a destination represents about 385 dollars (316 euros) and an average of 100 dollars (82 euros) in each destination visited during the cruise.

Spain has the first cruise port on the European continent, it is the second receiving market for cruise passengers and the fourth issuing country in Europe

CLIA employers say that in 2021 there will be 20 new ocean vessels, for a total of 270 for the CLIA fleet, which are expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

The new fleet will have improved health and safety protocols for the resumption of operations in order to protect passengers, crew and destinations.


The cruise industry has been widely criticized for being polluting. The report also shows that the cruise industry has continued its commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable future. 23,500 million dollars (19,316 million euros) have been invested in ships with new technologies and fuels, as well as a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions rate by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008.

Spain is a prominent country for the cruise industry: it has the first cruise port on the European continent, it is the second receiving market for cruise passengers and the fourth issuing country in all of Europe.

Spain has the first cruise port on the European continent, it is the second receiving market for cruise passengers and the fourth issuing country in Europe.

For this reason, a call is made to the competent authorities to define a schedule for restarting operations, based on the recommendations of the European Commission and the demanding health protocols implemented by the companies.

“Spain should not continue to lose competitiveness with respect to other European countries, many of which, such as Italy or Greece, began operating almost half a year ago,” claimed Alfredo Serrano, the director of CLIA Spain, who assured for his part that the cruise industry is one of the most innovative in Europe and they hope to help drive the economic recovery to be done in a “responsible and sustainable” way.