SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A new survey shows cruise ships are pumping new money into the local economy, and many passengers say they will return on their own.
In 2013, 21 ships visited Santa Barbara with more than 50,000 passengers on board.
The survey from "Visit Santa Barbara" shows those passengers spent $2.4 million in the city.
41 percent of them had never been here before and say they are likely to come back within the next two few years.
"That's pretty incredible. These are passengers who had not been to
Santa Barbara before and the potential impact of that was $6.3 million dollars. A pretty good return on our investment," said Kathy Janega-Dykes, Visit Santa Barbara President.
She says many passengers spend about $100. per visit, but that figure can go up if they take city tours, or go to a special site with a fee.
Many local businesses add staff when cruise ships are scheduled, and often they are on "off days" and not weekends when business is already strong, especially in the downtown corridor.
30 cruise ship visits are scheduled in Santa Barbara this year.