Cruise tourists not as big spenders on land as thought

London, Dec 23 (IANS) As compared to land tourists, cruise tourists spend very little money during the port of call even when they are offered an increased number of spending options, says a study.

“Even if more possibilities to spend money arise, cruise tourists do not spend more. But land tourists do,” said one of the researchers Svein Larsen, professor at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway.

Bergen is Norway´s largest cruise harbour, hosting more than 300 cruise ships every season. The local tourist industry, media, port authorities and politicians often praise the ever increasing number of cruise arrivals to Bergen, but for no good reason, Larsen said.

The researchers found that cruise passengers’ expenditure do not vary as a function of spending opportunities.

In this study, the researchers compared different types of tourists’ expenditure on normal weekdays including Saturday, when shops and other services tend to be open, to expenditure on Sundays and holidays, when most shops tend to be closed.

The study is based on data from surveys in Western Norway in 2012 (4002 respondents) and 2013 (1191 respondents).

The researchers found that cruise tourists spend as less on normal weekdays including Saturdays as they spend on Sundays and holidays.

“It simply seems as if cruise tourism does not have any value as a promoter of Norway as a holiday destination at all,” Larsen noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Tourism Management Perspectives.

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