CARTAGENA has hosted the ‘2017 Cruise Forum’ which has highlighted the growth of the numbers of cruise passengers to the city. More than 200 professionals connected to the cruise and tourism sector were in attendance.
Passenger arrivals have grown by 20 per cent of the past two years alone and since 2008 have increased from 35,000 annually to the current level of 230,000.
Director of the Port Authority, Antonio Sevilla, was the driving force behind this conference and in his speech indicated that, “the port of Cartagena is a fundamental part of the Murcia region’s infrastructure that benefits the citizens enormously, and its development has a great social and economic impact.”
Last year cruise passengers accounted for almost 19 per cent of foreign tourism that arrived in the region. A total of 187,000 tourists from the 120 cruises that docked in Cartagena included mainly British (50 per cent) and Americans (25%). These were followed by the Germans, Italians and French, and such has been the growth of tourism that Cartagena is now eighth in the list of Spanish cruise ports.
Forecasts for this year see the 2016 figures being surpassed with a predicted 230,000 passengers from 150 ships…a year-on-year growth of 24.3 per cent. To date, 143 cruise ships have docked containing 218,000 tourists.