|Photo by Freeimages.com/Craig Toocheck|
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently hosted its annual Congressional Cruise Caucus in Washington, DC. The event offered an opportunity for cruise line executives, travel agency leaders and key suppliers and partners to engage with legislative and political leaders.
One of CLIA’s primary goals is to educate policy makers and advocate for sensible legal and regulatory frameworks that facilitate continued growth opportunities for the entire cruise industry, CLIA said. CLIA engages with policymakers year-round, and Congressional Cruise Caucus is an important component of those advocacy efforts. CLIA members will use this opportunity to educate lawmakers on cruising’s place in the broader travel community, its impact on the American economy and its role as a job creator.
CLIA membership extends beyond its 62 Member Cruise Lines. In addition to oceangoing and specialty cruise ships, CLIA represents 275 executive partners, 20,000 global travel agencies and 30,000 travel agent members. Executive partners serve as key suppliers and partners to the cruise lines, playing a major role in the successful operation of cruising including ports, destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services. Travel agency members include the largest agencies, hosts, franchises and consortia in the world.
In 2014, the cruise industry contributed more than $46 billion to the United States economy, and generated almost 375,000 American jobs, CLIA said. With half of global cruise passengers embarking from United States ports, millions of passengers contribute billions of dollars to the local economies of port communities and beyond. CLIA predicts that 24.2 million people are expected to cruise globally in 2016.