Dredging investment will be money well spent!
Cornwall Council is under attack from the main anti-dredging protagonists for proposing to use £23 million of taxpayers’ money towards a capital dredging scheme in Falmouth to accommodate cruise ships and commercial shipping.
I believe councillors should carefully study and digest the Economic Impact Report 2012 from the European Cruise Commission before reaching any decision on funding. The facts from the report, produced by GP Wild (International), world leaders in cruise industry statistics, makes interesting reading.
Speaking at the European Cruise Industry’s successful conference in Brussels, EU figures from the European Commission and European Parliament heaped praise on the cruise industry. They commended the industry for helping Europe create skilled jobs by supporting shipbuilding, port communities and tourism in troubled economic times.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of the ECC said: “These impressive figures clearly show the social and economic importance of the cruise sector to Europe as a whole.
“However, there are significant potential obstacles to our future growth and we face some challenging years ahead. These challenges include not just the economic crisis, but also issues such as political uncertainty and rising fuel costs. Despite this challenging environment the cruise industry remains resilient and there are good reasons to believe that we will come through this period of uncertainty in a strong position.”
Including port-of-embarkation visits, each passenger visit at a European port generated an average total passenger expenditure of more than £76. Crew spending at each port call averaged £16 per crew member. Cruise companies spent £5 billion with European businesses for goods and services in support of their cruise operations – an increase of 6.7 per cent over 2010.
Among the major expenditures were the following: Cruise lines spent nearly £429 million on provisions consumed on board cruise ships from European food and beverage manufacturers. An estimated £702 million in commissions was paid to European travel agents.
The companies spent £1.1 billion on financial and business services including insurance, advertising and engineering.
The cruise lines also spent another £5 billion with European businesses to support their cruise and administrative operations. This represents an increase of 6.7 per cent from 2010. This spending by the world cruise lines and their passengers generated an estimated 315,500 jobs across Europe through direct, indirect and induced economic impacts.
Can Cornwall really afford to turn its back on this kind of business?