Florida’s Space Coast is a Premier Destination for Tourists, Features Thriving Economy with World’s Top Cruise Port at Port Canaveral
By Space Coast Daily // March 22, 2023
Port Canaveral became the No. 1 cruise port in the world in 2022
WATCH: Tourism is creating tremendous revenue and jobs for our local economy as Port Canaveral takes the lead as the #1 world-wide cruise port. Tourism Director, Peter Cranis talks with Space Coast Daily’s Giles Malone about what makes the Space Coast such a popular tourism destination.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Space Coast area is growing fast and is expected to be one of the top destinations for jobs in Florida over the next few years.
In an interview with Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director, he discussed how tourism is creating tremendous revenue and jobs for Space Coast economy.
One of those bright areas on the Space Coast is Port Canaveral after it was announced that Port Canaveral became the No. 1 cruise port in the world in the last fiscal year.
After years of challenging Port Miami as the busiest cruise port on the globe, Port Canaveral finally earned the title in 2022 with 4,072,396 multi-day passengers, edging out PortMiami by 49,852 passengers who had a total of 4,022,544 in 2022.
The information was released earlier this month by the Florida Ports Council in their Seaport Mission Plan. You will find the table with the numbers HERE.
Recently, Port Canaveral was honored as the Best U.S. Cruise Homeport for the third consecutive year in the annual Cruise Hive Cruise Ship Awards, an annual event recognizing the best in the industry, as voted on by Cruise Hive readers.
“We’ve always aimed to be the best cruise port in the world, but what an achievement to now be known as the busiest,” said Port Canaveral CEO Capt. John Murray. “This historic milestone is testament to the efforts of our team and cruise partners to provide a best in class experience for all cruise guests sailing from Port Canaveral.”
One of the most closely contested categories is Best Homeport, which recognizes the top ports that serve as the starting point for cruise vacations.
This year, Port Canaveral came out on top, earning 24% of the votes and taking the first-place spot. It is the third year in a row that Port Canaveral has taken the top spot, followed closely by Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Bringing it back to the Space Coast, Cranis is expecting another busy year.
“Our Spring Marketing Campaign has been working hard for us since mid-January and will continue as we come into peak season,” said Cranis.
“We purposely wanted to launch the unprecedented $1.6 million campaign in mid-January, as we knew that many other destinations would be out there marketing to consumers following a long hiatus due to COVID.
We have had the advantage of being able to promote ourselves for the past two years as Florida has been open to tourists, and all Florida destinations have seen incredible growth in tourism as a result.
But we knew that 2023 would see all the usual suspects, as well as some new ones jumping into the game. Destinations in the Caribbean, like the Bahamas and Jamaica, have been running rather large campaigns, as are many other U.S. destinations outside of Florida.
Meanwhile, we have been pushing hard both within the state and in major markets like Atlanta, Charlotte, Philly, DC, NY, Chicago and Boston, which is a new market for us and an important one.
When looking at cellular device data, it shows Boston as the fifth largest source market outside of Florida and 10th overall (5 of the top 10 source markets are in Florida – Orlando, W. Palm Beach, Tampa, Miami, and Jacksonville).”