SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Tour ship head tax
By Chas Edwardson


March 31, 2009

I doubt very highly that a fifty dollar head tax was a big factor in Princess Cruise's visitations or lack of. And now that they have made this public announcement about this (devastating tax), other cruise lines will make this claim to reinforce Princess' claims in an effort to put that fifty bucks back in their pockets.

This fifty bucks is not even a consideration to most who book this trip in the first place, if you're worried about fifty bucks chances are you can not even afford to consider a trip of a lifetime to Alaska. And we probably do not want you here in that case anyway. We are a tourist town.

Ketchikan has been a boom and bust town since the beginning. This boom (tourism) has simply reached the saturation point and the global economy is driving tourism down not (fifty bucks). The tour head tax is no different than ports and harbor taxes in other parts of the world. Our mistake is calling it what it is and not disguising it as increased port of call fee.

Along with mining, fishing and the timber industry, along with charter fishing as well, we in Ketchikan have adapted to all sorts of boom industry failures. We will adapt to this also. People are going to come to Alaska one way or another. What Princess drops now someone else, when the global economy recovers, will pick it up. Notice I said when -- which it will!! You have to believe this recovery will happen or the lack of tourism and the fifty dollar head tax is the least of our worries. My sense is that visitors will fluctuate up and down for the next few years, but fifty bucks is not and will not be the deciding factor for any of the visitors. That's not even a realistic deterrence. If I had a one-time fifty dollar expense tacked on to my trip of a lifetime to Australia would I cancel and say "well" Texas is good enough? Come on, let's not get bluffed into a corner.

Chas Edwardson
Ketchikan, AK


Related News:

Cruise industry blames head tax for Alaska cuts By Kate Golden | JUNEAU EMPIRE - Holland America Line and Princess Cruises plan to cut Alaska sailings in 2010 by 10 percent, saying they blame the state's head tax and they're willing to sue to get rid of it. - Read this Juneau Empire story.... -- Tuesday - March 31, 2009


Received March 31, 2009 - Published March 31, 2009


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