Assistant Secretary Rich Biter was present at the Port Everglades grand reopening on December 12, 2012. Governor Scott applauded FDOT’s investment of $9 million to reconstruct and modernize four cruise terminals at Port Everglades. The grand reopening ceremony at Port Everglades marked the completion of $54 million in renovations performed over the last six months to the cruise terminals at the port.
Governor Scott said, “Florida is the cruise capital and home to the three largest cruise ports in the world. Florida’s ports play a tremendous role in helping the Sunshine State remain an international destination for jobs and tourism – and by making investments in our ports, we will continue to attract more job opportunities and visitors to our state which will help our families find employment.”
The Sunshine State ranked first in the nation for cruise industry expenditures with $6.7 billion in direct spending, accounting for 35 percent of the total industry direct expenditures. Cruise industry spending generated more than 130,000 jobs and wages totaling nearly $5.8 billion in income for Florida workers. Florida also leads the country in resident cruise passengers with three million passengers, or 29 percent, of all U.S. resident passengers.
FDOT Secretary Ananth Prasad said, “FDOT is pleased to play a part in the continued growth of Port Everglades. We commend the port on this grand re-opening and look forward to our continued partnership in the future.”
Doug Wheeler, Florida Ports Council President said, “Because Florida currently leads the world in the ever competitive cruise business, it is critical that Florida’s ports have the resources necessary to maintain first-class facilities that will continue to attract cruise customers. Thanks to the ongoing port investments by the state of Florida under the leadership of Governor Scott and Secretary Prasad, Florida’s ports will be able to continue creating jobs and economic benefits for Florida.”
Florida is the home of corporate or administrative offices for 12 Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) member cruise line brands, including the three largest cruise companies that own three-fourths of the North American industry cruise capacity (Carnival Corporation & plc, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., and NCL Corporation).
Overall, these three companies employ nearly 14,000 people representing nearly 55 percent of the cruise industry employment throughout the United States.