1 in 3 cruise ship passengers plan to return to Maine

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A survey indicates the cruise ship industry is an important source of return visitors to Maine.

The survey found that cruise ship passengers don't make a huge economic impact during their brief visits ashore but that one in three of them plans to return in the near future.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Maine Office of Tourism commissioned the survey to get a reading of passengers' experiences, perceptions, and spending.

A Portland-based tourism research group talked to more than 2,500 passengers and crew across nine ports between July and November. CruiseMaine Director Sarah Flink says it was important to have a "baseline understanding of the demographics."

About 400,000 cruise visitors sailed on ships to Maine, spending $29 million. Passengers spent about $70 on average during their visits ashore.