As a major portal to the Pacific and gateway to Alaska, Seattle has recently emerged as a leading West Coast port of call for the luxury passenger cruise ship industry. Over the past decade, the number of cruise ships calling in Seattle has burgeoned from six vessels carrying 6,615 passengers in 1999 to 218 vessels carrying 875,433 passengers in 2009. This year, the Port of Seattle estimates that 223 luxury cruise ships carrying a projected 858,000 passengers will sail from Seattle. The projected 2010 annual business revenue generated by these luxury cruise sailings is $425 million, and the industry will contribute $18.9 million to annual state and local taxes and support 4,447 local jobs.
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