Alicante’s cruise tourism: Sailing towards economic growth

Alicante's cruise tourism: Sailing towards economic growth.

Alicante's cruise tourism: Sailing towards economic growth. Image: Puerto de Alicante / X.

In 2023, Alicante saw 84 cruise ships with 205,000 passengers and 80,000 crew members, contributing €46M to the local economy.

For 2024, it’s expected to reach €60M with 96 ships and 230,000 passengers.

Ana Poquet, the Tourism Councillor, sees 2024 as a promising year for cruise tourism, building on the success of 2023.

She emphasised the importance of cruisers as high-spending visitors who also promote Alicante as a destination.

To enhance visitor experience, a QR code system is being tested to streamline access to Santa Bárbara Castle. This initiative allows tourists to buy elevator tickets in advance and check real-time capacity.

The Councillor also highlighted the launch of the “Alicante Shopping Walk” map, guiding cruise passengers through commercial and gastronomic areas, and promoting local businesses.

Moreover, 57 city establishments have earned the “Alicante Cruise Friendly” quality seal, ensuring English service, special discounts, and more.

Surveys of 2,468 visitors provided insights into cruise passengers’ preferences.

They are typically around 52 years old, travelling with family, and spend 4.5 to 6 hours in Alicante.

Safety, mobility, and cleanliness are highly valued.

Despite the influx of visitors, 94 per cent don’t find Alicante overcrowded. Most passengers find Alicante easy to explore and plan to return.

Cruise visitors contribute significantly to the local economy.

Their spending averages €74.66 during stopovers and increases to 246 euros when they embark or disembark, including accommodation and more spending on hospitality and commerce.

Crew members spend an average of €109.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.