How much Sint Maarten makes with the cruise industry

According to an American study, cruise passengers and crew members who land in Sint Maarten spend 422 million dollars.

The American firm, BREA (Business Research & Economic Advisors) has been commissioned by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) to study the economic impact of the cruise industry in the Caribbean. The work focuses on the 2014-2015 season (May 2014 to April 2015) and relates to thirty-five destinations. This activity generated a total of 3.16 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, created 75,050 jobs and 976 million dollars in wages.

The economic impact was analyzed for each of the thirty-five destinations including Sint Maarten which welcomed  over 2 million cruise passengers of whom 90.2% landed during this season.


3.16 billion US dollars were injected into the Caribbean and a little more than 13% of that amount in Sint Maarten. It is indeed in Sint Maarten that the impact of the cruise industry has been the most significant with 422.9 million USD spent on the island by the passengers, crew members and companies (in supplies).

It is the only island where spending goes over the 400 million threshold. In the Bahamas, the top destination in terms of attendance, the spending level is lower than 50 million (373.1 M USD). In Cozumel Mexico, the second destination (before St Maarten), it’s even lower (365.5 M USD).


The spending of passengers represents 83% of the 422.9 million spent in Sint Maarten, which comes to 354.7 million dollars. Sint Maarten is where passengers spend the most: 191 dollars per person compared to 82 dollars in the Bahamas. By comparison, the average amount is $120 in the other top 5 destinations. The overall average in the Caribbean is estimated at $103.83.

Excursions, food and beverages, jewelry and watches as well as clothing are the main products purchased by tourists who land at Pointe Blanche.

The average amounts spent for an excursion and clothing are respectively $44.6 and $27.97. The average amount spent in a jewelry store is estimated at $239.5.


According to the study, 776,302 crew members made a stopover in Sint Maarten and 49 % of them landed, which makes a total of 377,390 persons. That’s 2.6 times less than in the Bahamas or 1.4 times less than in Cozumel. In the Caribbean, 4.5 million crew members landed and spent a total of $302.2 million USD.

In volume, the highest amount of spending was done in the Bahamas (59.7 M USD) and in St Maarten (45 M USD). However, Puerto Rico is where crew members spend the most: $149.44 compared $60 in the Bahamas and $119.13 in St Maarten. There, they spend an average of $26.72 on beverages and restaurants, a little less than 15 dollars on jewelry and about 12 dollars on clothing.


According to the data provided by the FCCA and its members, the authors of the study estimated that the companies spent 23.3 million USD in St Maarten including 95% on port charges and other taxes.


In the Caribbean, the cruise industry has created 75,050 jobs including over 9,000 in Cozumel (9,727) and Sint Maarten (9,259). But it is here that the payroll is the largest: 189.10 USD million compared to 61 million in Mexico. It is also significant in the United States Virgin Islands (141 m) and the Bahamas (138.5M) where the cruise industry has created respectively 6,397 and 7,954 jobs.

In St Maarten, 53 % of the jobs created by the cruise industry are direct.


Estelle Gasnet
3 commentaires


With all that money coming in, why doesn't that give St.Maarten the incentive to stop the dump fires?They have been especially bad lately.

This is a study covering May 2014 to Aprii 2015 and therefore already obsolete and misleading. According to information available on the site of the Dept. of Statistics of the Government of St.Maarten, there is a significant downward trend of cruise arrivals and passengers.
In the period May 2015 – April 2016, there were 325,913 passengers less. Using the expenditure rate of the study ("Sint Maarten is where passengers spend the most: 191 dollars per person") it means that 62,249,383 US$ dollars (60 million dollars) were spend less by cruise ship passengers than in the same period before. And it looks like this downward trend is holding on until December this year.

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