A study conducted by Davidson-Peterson Associates (DPA) shows that cruise ships are making a largely positive impact to Maine’s tourism industry in just over a year.
According to the results of the study, cruise ships in Maine generated a total of $29 million in direct spending alone. Out of the roughly 400,000 individuals who boarded a ship that year, half were first-time visitors, with a third of that number stating they planned to return in the future.
With indirect spending included, the total came to more than $33 million.
"The cruise ship industry is an important part of the Maine tourism industry and an economic driver for our state,” Director of Maine Office of Tourism Steve Lyons said in a news release. "We know if someone comes to Maine once, they are very likely to come back. These are exactly the kind of first-time visitors we want coming to our state.”
The DPA study was a project collaborated with tourism agency CruiseMaine.
"The vast majority of those surveyed said Maine offers natural beauty, an unspoiled environment, high-quality service, and a warm welcome,” Executive Director of CruiseMaine Sarah Flink said in the release. “Furthermore, the study reinforces that cruise passengers are doing business in our shops, restaurants and attractions."
Other key findings from the survey include eight out of 10 cruise ship attendees stating they were “highly satisfied” with their time on Maine’s shores, as well as the same number highly recommending a trip to Maine to others and believing that the ports they visited “offer natural and unspoiled environments, high-quality service and a warm welcome.”
One-fourth of those researched in the survey arrived from international destinations.
Cruise ship tourism has been proved to improve the state’s economics, as well. The $33 million in spending revenue helps finance $1.7 million in state tax revenue, as well as assisting in opening approximately 400 new jobs.