SEOUL, KOREA - A study said the economic effect of welcoming a cruise ship passenger is six times more than the cost of handling a 6-meter-long container in the dock. According to a report "Ways to Encourage Cruise Ship Tourism in Busan" published by the Busan Development Institute on May 13, the average spending by a tourist coming from the cruise ship (assumed to have come from China) is estimated at US$729 (as of 2011). This is more than six times larger than the economic benefit arising from handling a container in the Busan Port of $106.70.
The aggregate economic benefit accrued in 2012 from 90,000 cruise ship passengers who disembarked in Busan (out of total passengers of 120,000) was 73.4 billion won, including the port entry fees (up to 70-percent discount offered to cruise ships).
Choi Do-seok, research fellow and the author of the report, said, "For the past 25 years, the global tourism market has grown 4.3 percent a year while the cruise market saw an average annual growth of 8.1 percent. The Cruise Lines International Association recently forecast that the world's cruise passenger numbers will rise to 25 million by 2015. But Korea's market environment is way behind the international level to benefit from the growth."
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