Estimating the Economic Value of the Pleasure Cruise Industry in the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area

2020 Fast-Track Grant Project

Image credit: M. Thoms

The goal of this project is to estimate the economic impacts of the pleasure cruise industry in Duluth ‐ Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area - which includes St. Louis, Douglas, and Carlton Counties - to determine the economic viability of Duluth being a pleasure cruise port of call.

Final Report: The Economic Value of the Cruise Industry to the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area.  July 23, 2021.

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Why do this

The proposed study aims to help the city of Duluth, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, and Minnesota Sea Grant make informed decisions about Duluth becoming a pleasure cruise port of call. This study will help inform decision-makers as to whether the economic benefits of the industry outweigh the significant added costs associated with making Duluth a port of call.

Project description

This eight-month project seeks to estimate the direct benefits to the city of Duluth and the surrounding region from the development of a cruise industry. The study team will use data from similar nationwide cruise industry studies, data from interviews with subject matter experts, and online research.


The research team will produce a final written report of the findings and analysis that includes data used and recommendations based on the data and modeling assessment at the conclusion of the project in spring 2021.


This project is supported by a Minnesota Sea Grant 2020 Fast-Track Grant. 

Lead scientist(s)

Monica Haynes
Bureau of Business and Economic Research
Labovitz School of Business and Economics
University of Minnesota Duluth.

Scholarly Articles

  • Haynes, M., Chiodi, G., Brand, N., Thorsgard, H., Palmquist, B. and Ye, D. (2021). The Economic Value of the Cruise Industry to the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area. University of Minnesota Duluth. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,


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