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It’s official. Royal Caribbean International (RCI) announced this week that it will begin building a $100 million cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston’s Pier 10 in April. In the same press release, RCI announced that it will begin sailing its Oasis-class ship, the Allure of the Seas, from Galveston beginning in November 2022.
This is great news for the port, cruise lovers and the Galveston economy. The annual impact from this terminal includes:
o 1,320 new jobs
o $60.7 million in personal income
o $1.4 billion in local business services revenue
o $5.6 million in state and local taxes
It will also generate millions of dollars in direct revenue for the port and the city of Galveston.
This doesn’t take into account the multi-million-dollar economic impact the cruise industry will have on our local economy once the cruise lines begin sailing again.
A MAJOR REVENUE GENERATOR
The new terminal will generate millions of dollars in ground rent and other revenues for the port, which we’ll reinvest in infrastructure and capital improvements as outlined in our Strategic Master Plan. These investments will grow our port business, create more good-paying jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Second, the city will receive new, unrestricted revenue that could give it the opportunity to lower property taxes, a move that all property owners would support.
The port will pay the city at least $300,000 a year. Based on passenger volume, we expect this amount to increase if annual passenger numbers at the new terminal grow beyond 600,000.
In addition, we estimate that port-operated cruise parking sales tax revenue paid to the city will grow to more than $1 million a year when our cruise business is back to pre-pandemic levels. This doesn’t include sales tax that the city receives from privately operated cruise parking businesses.
Third, local stores, restaurants, hotels, attractions and services businesses will benefit as more cruise passengers and crew members buy goods and services in Galveston. This will generate more jobs, sales and hotel tax revenues and business growth.
Construction of a third cruise terminal was put on hold in 2021 due to the pandemic. RCI exercised a contract option to extend its final decision until April 2021. In the meantime, RCI and port staff have continued to lay the groundwork to move forward.
While the pandemic may have shifted the timeline, RCI and the port staff are ready.