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Watch Out California, Here Comes Texas (Cruising)

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The rivalry between California and Texas has been going for decades.

One is a bastion of natural beauty, an economic powerhouse, and home to a wonderful melting pot of culture… the other is California. (Just kidding Californians!)

But there is no doubt that the two states seem to compete for everything and that includes cruising. Well, while California is in the lead right now, it looks like Texas is likely to leapfrog its rival.

According to the 2012 U.S. Economic Impact Analysis, published by Cruise Lines International Association, California ranked second among all states in 2012 in terms of cruise passengers served. In total, the state saw 837,000 passengers pass through its ports — well behind number one Florida, which has more than 6 million passengers.

Meanwhile, Texas ranked third, with 604,000 passengers — all from Galveston.

What’s interesting, however, is that California saw an annual drop of -7.2% in passengers served. That continues a disturbing trend. Since 2009, the total amount of passengers sailing from California has dropped a staggering -34%.

Texas, on the other hand, is booming. Its 604,000 passengers is a new record for the state and a 31.6% increase over the year earlier. Since 2009, passenger traffic through Galveston has increased 53%. Now Galveston is the busiest cruise port outside of the state of Florida.

None of this even mentions the coming impact of the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Houston. It has signed two cruise lines to start sailing in late 2013 and 2014, respectively. That will only add to the popularity of Texas cruising.

There’s little doubt that Texas has turned into a major cruising mecca. And judging from the figures, it’s only getting stronger.

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