A report issued by the European Cruise Council has revealed there were 5.5 millionEuropean cruisers in 2010 (a 10% increase compared to 2009), which works out to approximately 30% of cruise passengers worldwide (18.8 million cruisers). The EU countries with the most cruisers were the UK (1.6 million), Germany (1.2 million), Italy (around 890,000) and Spain (645,000).In 2010, the European cruise industry also grew in terms of the numbers of passengers departing from European ports, rising to 5.2 million (+7.2%). The overall (direct and indirect) economic impact of the industry on the continent’s economy last year was 35.2 billion euros, including more than 14 billion euros of direct spending. The greatest beneficiaries of this direct expenditure were Italy (4.5 billion euros), the UK (approximately 2.6 billion) and Germany (2.3 billion). European shipbuilders continue to play an important part in this expansion: from 2011 to 2013 the continent’s yards will build 23 new cruise ships, with a total investment worth almost 11 billion euros. The economic impact of the cruise industry also contributes substantially to employment, accounting for around 300,000 jobs in Europe.European cruise group Costa Crociere S.p.A, which counts Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises and Iberocruceros within its stable of brands, carried more than two million guests and generated an economic impact (direct and indirect spending) worth 2.2 billion euros in Italy alone, according to the company’s president, Gianni Onorato.The Group’s consolidated revenues rose by about 12% in FY 2010, reaching just under 3 billion euros, while the total number of Guests was 2.15 million, representing an increase of some 18% compared to the previous fiscal year. The increase in revenues reinforces Costa Crociere’s position as Italy’s largest travel group.