A tender ferries passengers back to the cruise ship Crystal Serenity as it sits anchored off Bar Harbor in Frenchman Bay in this Sept. 13, 2016, file photo. Credit: Bill Trotter

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 plan to return in the near future.

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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 2018. CruiseMaine Director Sarah Flink said it was important to have a “baseline understanding of the demographics.”

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