Juneau, AK
Juneau accounted for 29% of Alaska cruise visitation in 2018, with just over 1.14 million visits, according to a new CLIA study.

Alaska is the premier cruise destination market in the United States, according to a new economic-impact study released by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Alaska ports received about 3.8 million port-of-call cruise passenger visits during 2018, approximately 61% of all port-of-call cruise passenger visits at U.S. ports. (Since individual passengers will make several port-of-call visits on any given itinerary, passenger visits are approximately three times greater than the number of passengers taking cruises to Alaska).

The state also has homeporting operations and generated 198,000 embarkations on turnaround cruises between Alaska and Vancouver, Canada. The three busiest ports – Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway – accounted for over 80% of all passenger visits to Alaska. Juneau accounted for 29%, with just over 1.14 million visits; Ketchikan accounted for 27%, with 1.05 million visits; and Skagway accounted for 24%, with 960,000 visits. The remaining 20% was distributed among seven additional locations and accounted for approximately 810,000 visits.

The cruise lines maintain significant tour operations in the state and employed an average of approximately 2,200 full- and part-time employees during the year.

Summary of 2018 Cruise Industry Impacts – Alaska
Total Share of the U.S.
Passenger Embarkations 198,000 Embarkations 1.6%
Resident Cruise Passengers 16,000 Passengers 0.1%
Total Passenger Visits & Crew Arrivals 5,646,000 Arrivals 21.0%
Direct Expenditures $1,242 Million 5.2%
Total Employment Impact 22,447 Jobs 5.3%
Total Wage Impact $1,156 Million 5.0%
Source: Cruise Lines International Association and Business Research and Economic Advisors

Alaska is one of the least-populous states in the nation. Resident cruise passengers in the state totaled 16,000 and accounted for 0.1% of U.S.-sourced passengers during 2018. Thus, Alaska was a net importer of cruise passengers.

Relative to 2016, Alaska experienced a 26% increase in passenger embarkations and a 15% increase in cruise passenger visits and crew arrivals. Including homeport and transit calls, cruising at Alaska ports generated 5.6 million passenger visits and crew arrivals, accounting for 21% of all passenger visits and crew arrivals in the U.S. These visits produced an estimated $619 million in passenger and crew onshore spending, an 18% increase over 2016 and accounting for nearly $110 per passenger visit and crew arrival.

Alaska ranked fifth in cruise industry direct expenditures, with $1.24 billion, or 5.2% of the direct expenditures generated by the cruise industry in the United States. Tourism-related businesses, such as tour operators, airlines, hotels, etc., received approximately $788 million, about 63% of the industry’s direct expenditures in Alaska. Another $59 million was spent with businesses in four additional business segments, food processors and petroleum refiners and distributors within the manufacturing sector; and employment agencies and wholesale trade in the nonmanufacturing sector.

Finally, these direct expenditures generated total economic impacts of 22,447 jobs and $1.16 billion in income throughout the Alaska economy during 2018. These impacts accounted for 5.3% of national employment impact and 5% of the national wage impact.

Source: CLIA and Business Research and Economic Advisors

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