The decades of the seventies and the eighties have witnessed the explosive growth of cruise ship tourism, the fastest growing segment of the tourist industry. Although cruising is a world wide phenomenon, it is centered in the Caribbean region with the port of Miami serving as the major port of embarkation. The significance of the Caribbean market has increased over time, and this growth is expected to continue.
Consequently, cruise tourism has assumed greater importance to the Caribbean Islands. The governments of these islands have been undertaking investments to further accommodate an ever larger number of cruise ships. These investments have national implications, and the involved authorities should be aware of their consequences.
It is the objective of this study to assess the impact of cruise ship tourism on the income level of some of the Caribbean destination ports. The questions to be addressed are, "Is cruise tourism significant to the destination ports?" and, "What is its contribution to income levels?"
The results indicate that the impact is destination specific and that the Bahamas has received the bulk of the benefits.