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Publication Title | An analysis of the determinants of cruise traffic: An empirical application to the Spanish port system

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Transportation Research Part E 66 (2014) 115–125

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Transportation Research Part E journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/tre

An analysis of the determinants of cruise traffic: An empirical application to the Spanish port system

José I. Castillo-Manzano a, Xavier Fageda b,⇑, Fernando Gonzalez-Laxe c

a Applied Economics & Management Research Group, University of Seville, Spain b Department of Economic Policy, University of Barcelona, Spain

c Department of Applied Economics, University of Coruña, Spain

article info

Article history:

Received 14 August 2013

Received in revised form 12 March 2014 Accepted 26 March 2014

Keywords:

Cruise traffic Spanish port system Microeconometrics Panel data

Port management

1. Introduction

abstract

We study the determinants that affect the capacity of ports to attract cruise ships in Spain. The conclusion is that the likelihood of having cruise traffic is linked to ports located in populous areas and close to large airports, ports not specialized in container traffic but sharing facilities with ferries traffic and ports having a minimum depth of water. The amount of cruise traffic that a port can generate is also related to the population and the air connections, along with the tourist appeal and the facilities shared with other types of port traffic, namely roll-on roll-off and ferries.

Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cruises have become one of the most dynamic and fastest expanding segments of the international tourist industry regarding both cruise passenger demand (Sun et al., 2011) and the growing supply of vessels, and larger size vessels (see Weaver, 2005a, 2005b, on the trend towards super-sized cruise ships) which, with their greater ranges of cuisine and leisure are trying to respond to the increasingly complex demands and motivations of both first-time and returning passengers (see Jones, 2011).

According to Soriani et al. (2009), the cruise industry continues to be a dynamic sector, in continuous growth, and an increasingly important component of the global tourism industry. The total number of cruise passengers can be seen to have increased from half a million in 1970 (see Krause, 1980, for an analysis of the industry during its modern-day resurgence) to over 20.3 million in 2012 (according to CLIA estimates, 2013) with a figure of 25 million predicted for 2015 (WTO, 2010), although for Cruise Market Watch (2013) the economic crisis means that predictions for said year stand at around 22.5 mil- lion. There is no doubt that the crisis is turning into the main threat to the sector, especially in areas like the Mediterranean, and that it could cut short the excellent expectations with which the 21st century began in the wake of almost unbroken growth for almost three decades (Wild and Dearing, 2000).

All types of factors have influenced this expansion, from the early success of the Love Boat TV series (Weaver, 2005a) to national promotion and sales campaigns that range from early bookings with a minimal booking fee to last-minute sales, especially on the Internet. It is not hard to find cruises that cost way below traditional prices in the sector, some even at

⇑ Corresponding author. Address: Department of Economic Policy, University of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 690, 08034 Barcelona, Spain. Tel.: +34 934039721.

E-mail addresses: jignacio@us.es (J.I. Castillo-Manzano), xfageda@ub.edu (X. Fageda), laxe@udc.es (F. Gonzalez-Laxe).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tre.2014.03.008

1366-5545/Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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