20 August 2013
The Port of Cork is continuing to drive increases in tourism and commercial activity which is benefitting the region.
According to the latest figures from the Port of Cork it is expecting a 50% increase in the number of cruise passengers visiting Cork this year. This continues the trend of increasing numbers of cruises vessels visiting Cork over the last few years. Last year was a record year for the port, 57 vessels called bringing almost 88,000 passengers to the region. This year is expected to see even further growth in numbers; the port is on course to welcome 61 vessels and 135,000 passengers.
As a harbour city our access to the sea provides an important source of revenue from both commercial and recreational activities. It is a resource that contributes greatly to our local economy. Very often we underestimate the economic value it generates and the number of jobs it creates.
Although the cruise industry is not a lucrative source of revenue for port companies themselves it provides considerable benefit for the local and wider regional economy. Figures from the Port of Cork suggest that cruise liner passengers contribute €40.9 million and 197 full time equivalent jobs to the regional economy.
This is a significant benefit to the local economy and is the result of a long term vision for developing cruise traffic through the port. The Port of Cork is a member of Cruise Ireland, a marketing co-operative formed in 1994 which promotes the island of Ireland as a premier cruise destination. Thanks to the efforts of the team at the Port of Cork our region is getting much benefit from this long term plan.
Fáilte Ireland has conducted a survey which concluded that the cruise sector in Ireland is well positioned for growth and that this potential can be realised through the development of a strategic framework. It also highlighted the importance of cruise passengers to our local economy. The average cruise passenger who disembarks when visiting Cork will spend €68 while onshore; this is on top of advance payments for transport, tour guides and entrance fees.
The success of efforts to continually increase the number of visitors through the port mirrors the efforts to increase the port’s overall commercial activity. In the Annual Report for 2012 it was confirmed that tor the second year in a row Port of Cork has paid a dividend to the Exchequer and that it directly employed 105 people in 2012.