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Cruising contributes over $100 billion to the global economy. Image: 3DDock/Shutterstock

Cruisers boosted Europe’s economy despite the 2008 financial crisis.

Speaking at the annual travel and tourism convention, ITB Berlin, According to Cruise Lines Industry Association (CLIA) president and chief executive Christine Duffy said in 2012, 5.7 million passengers embarked on a cruise in Europe.

It was the second largest market for cruise passengers worldwide, with many embarking on river cruises and mass-market voyages in the area.

“CLIA Europe and our National Chapters throughout Europe are proud to represent the industry and support our members by working with various stakeholders to continue the growth of cruising in this very important market,” she said.

She also highlighted the importance of the German market to Europe’s cruising industry, which according to Bloomberg is expected to overtake the UK as Europe’s biggest cruise market over the coming years.

Last year, the UK showed no growth at 1,7 million passengers, while there was an 11 percent increase in cruisers in Germany.

Worldwide, CLIA member lines had 21.3 million guests in 2013. This is expected to grow to 21.7 million in 2014.

According to CLIA, cruising contributes $100 billion to the global economy and supports over 775,000 jobs worldwide.

North America is the biggest cruise market dominating with 55 percent of all passengers, while Australia is ranked in the top five with 3.6 percent of market share.

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