Port Commissioner John Creighton Announces Continued Uptick in Cruise Traffic to Alaska in 2012

SEATTLE, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- During the 2012 cruise season, a record 933,900 revenue passengers moved through the Port of Seattle's two cruise terminals, further solidifying Seattle as a port of origin for Alaska-bound cruises.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121126/CG18775)

The Port estimates that the record passenger number generated more than $416 million in annual business revenue, $18 million in state and local taxes while creating 4,319 jobs. Each time a homeport ship docks in Seattle, it contributes $2.1 million to the local economy.

 "The cruise business is good not only for King County, but for our entire state," said Seattle Port Commissioner John Creighton. "Our goal is to have cruise passengers extend their stay a few more days to discover what else Washington has to offer and to increase tourism spending statewide."

During 2012, cruises to southeast Alaska operated at 109.95 percent of passenger capacity, the result of having multiple guests – usually families – sharing a cabin.

Seattle ranks 7th in the nation for ports for passengers while Washington ranks 6th in the nation for cruise industry expenditures according to newly released 2011 data compiled by Cruise Lines International Association, the world´s largest cruise association.

These statistics aren't likely to surprise people who have been shopping for unforgettable vacations at a reasonable price.  Cruises have long been considered the perfect vacation for busy families as they can enjoy the sights and sounds passing by them without worrying about catching connecting flights or losing their luggage along the way.  And, cruises to Alaska are remarkably affordable, especially when compared to trips to Europe or the Caribbean.  Instead of spending money on international flights to begin the cruise, people are spending money on enjoying their trip.

Each traveler who comes through the Port of Seattle on the way to a cruise has the opportunity to positively impact our economy.  That person could spend money on overnight lodging, as well as meals, before the trip begins or ends.  We are hoping to encourage many travelers might to lengthen their vacations, allowing them to spend a few days in Seattle or the surrounding areas in the days preceding the trip.  As part of the Seattle Port Commission's Century Agenda – our 25-year plan to add 100,000 new port-related jobs to our region –we are looking at ways to double the economic impact of the cruise industry to Washington State.

About Port Commissioner John Creighton

John Creighton was elected to the Seattle Port Commission in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. He served as Port Commission President from 2007-2008, and for the last two years as co-chair of the Commission's Century Agenda committee. The Century Agenda committee has led the development of the Port's 25-year plan to help grow 100,000 new port-related jobs for the Puget Sound region.

Prior to returning home to Seattle in 2000, John was a business lawyer who practiced law in Washington, D.C., and overseas in Istanbul, Helsinki and Singapore with the New York law firm White & Case. John grew up in the eastside suburbs of Seattle, where he attended Interlake High School. For more information about Commissioner John Creighton, please visit www.johncreighton.org.

Media Contact: Chris Manzig Optimize Up, 800-349-9001, info@optimizeup.com

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