PortMiami’s Economic Impact Increases Significantly

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PortMiami has revealed the tidal economic impact it developed in 2023, accounting for 3.9 percent of the Gross Domestic Product of the state of Florida. 

Not only did the port shatter cruise passenger records in 2023, together with the cargo activities in the port, it accounted for $61.4 billion in total economic activity.

The port revealed the numbers in a study conducted by Martin Associates, which also revealed the port supports through its activities 340,078 jobs, while it also employs 29,423 people directly, adding to the importance of the port in the region.

Downtown Miami
Downtown Miami (Photo Credit: Nancy Pauwels)

“PortMiami is not only one of Miami-Dade County’s most important economic engines, its economic impact is also felt regionally and globally,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. 

“This report confirms the seaport’s vital role in supporting good-paying local jobs and contributing to the growth of our community, in addition to our commitment to resilience and reducing our carbon footprint with shore power and our net zero plan.”

The Cruise Capital of the World, Port Miami is home to all major cruise operators, including dedicated cruise terminals for Carnival Corporation at Terminals D and E, Royal Caribbean Group at Terminals A and G, MSC Cruises at Terminal F, Norwegian Cruise Line at Terminal C, and Virgin Voyages at Terminal V. 

While PortMiami briefly lost the title of the busiest cruise port in the world to its more northern counterpart, Port Canaveral, it has firmly grasped the title again in 2023, handling an incredible 7,299,294 guests. Port Canaveral handled a little less than that, at 6,924,865 cruise passengers.

How Impactful is PortMiami?

The fact that PortMiami is revealed to have a total economic impact of $61 billion is one thing. But, in simple terms, those numbers don’t say that much. 

The state of Florida has a $1.6 trillion Gross Domestic Product, of which 3.9% comes from PortMiami. This is not just people coming through the port but the entire infrastructure it supports. 

Think of suppliers for cruise ships, cargo handlers, and logistics companies. It also involves warehousing, distribution centers, local transportation services, and hospitality industries such as hotels and restaurants that cater to cruise passengers. 

Cruise Ships at PortMiami
Cruise Ships at PortMiami (Photo Credit: Anthony Giarrusso)

Then there are the taxes generated through the port. While cruise lines are often at the receiving end of criticism over not paying taxes, they certainly contribute to the amount of tax generation at Port Miami. In 2023, the port generated $2.2 billion in state and local taxes, of which $1.6 billion is attributed to users of the port, such as cruise lines.

“The seaport continues to play a critical role in the economic vitality of our region. We will continue to invest in our infrastructure to ensure that PortMiami remains a world class cruise and cargo port,” said Hydi Webb, Director and CEO, PortMiami. 

“I want to thank all the seaport’s partners for their unrelenting support. Our continued growth and success are a result of strong collaborations.”

PortMiami and cruise companies have been a successful combination since the first cruise set sail from the port on December 19, 1966, when the Sunward sailed from Miami. While the port has been transformed since then into the cruise hub it is today, the essence stays the same, offering unforgettable vacations while driving the Florida economy.

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