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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Cruise Ship Report -

Ballot Measure Could Chill Growth of Alaska Cruise Ship Business

If you are among the millions thinking of visiting Alaska one of these years aboard a cruise ship, a so-called environmental initiative that will be voted on August 22nd could well put a severe chill on the interest of cruise lines in sailing to this popular summer destination.

Ballot Measure 2 would impose a $50 head tax on each Alaska cruise ship passenger (over and above current port fees), impose a 33 percent tax on the gross income of cruise ship casinos while operating off the Alaska coast, and force cruise lines to publish their financial arrangements with businesses in each Alaskan port.

The initiative ostensibly is designed to protect Alaska's environment, increasing fines for illegally dumping waste and creating a new bureaucracy of state-employed "ocean rangers" who would be put aboard every cruise ship to monitor "state and federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution requirements."

While the stiff head tax would mean higher fares for Alaska cruises, possibly putting a damper on passenger demand, and the environmental provisions are thought by many to be duplicative and unnecessary, neither of these would likely lead cruise lines to retreat from the Alaska cruise market.

But the casino tax, and the requirement that cruise lines make public details of their business arrangements with land tour operators and local merchants, potentially raise much more troublesome issues for the major cruise companies.

Casino gambling is illegal in Alaska, and cruise ship casinos must remain closed when the ships are in Alaskan ports. But federal law currently allows operation of casinos aboard the big cruise ships when a ship is more than three miles outside an Alaska port.

Beyond the question of how Alaska can tax an activity off its coast that is illegal in Alaska is the precedent passage of this measure -- and acceptance of it by cruise lines -- would set.

If Alaska enacts such a levy on cruise ship casinos and the cruise lines agree to it, which port-of-call will be next to try to get its hand in the cruise ship casino pot?

Similar precedential concerns apply to what can only be viewed as a highly mischievious effort by referendum organizers to expose the details of all financial arrangements between cruise lines and local Alaska businesses.

All of those tours that passengers book through cruise lines pay money to the cruise lines. The Alaska initiative would require that brochures used onboard cruise ships disclose the wholesale prices of these tours (the price the cruise line pays the tour operator before its markup) in 14 point type and in contrasting color.

What cruise line (not to mention what local tour operator) is going to want to see details of these business arrangements made public? And what purpose does it serve beyond providing useful pricing information to tour operators' often-unlicensed and underinsured competitors?

Another mischievous provision of Ballot Measure 2 would award persons who complain about any of the environmental activities of a cruise ship -- or file a civil suit against a cruise line -- up to 50 percent of any fine or civil judgment. Talk about encouraging frivolous lawsuits.

The measure also seems patently unfair to Alaska's two largest cruise ports, Juneau and Ketchikan. Communities visited by cruise ships will be entitled to $5 of the $50 head tax IF and only if they agree to give up any current tax they assess.

Since Ketchikan collects $7 per passenger to retire bonds the city issued for port improvements, and Juneau collects $10 per passenger for harbor improvements, neither would appear likely to give up these fees -- so none of the money presumably would go to the cruise industry's two most important ports.

The number of cruise ships sailing Alaskan itineraries has grown steadily in recent years, and they are expected to bring nearly one million visitors to Alaska this year making them the largest source of Alaska's tourists.

Among the lines with ships sailing in Alaska this summer are Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and SilverSea Cruises.

Ballot Measure 2 , which was qualified for the ballot by professional signature collectors hired by a California-based environmental group, is opposed by hundreds of Alaska's town and city governments, chambers of commerce, civic organizations, visitors bureaus, tour operators, tourists associations, and small businesses.

Needless to say, it also is opposed by the major cruise lines, who are financing a campaign to defeat the measure through the North West CruiseShip Association based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Rushie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks John,

Can you recommend a good curry house in Alaska then..?

The most bizarre place I've found one so far is in Tobermory on the Scottish island of Mull..!

Can anyone else come up with others in "most obscure places"..!!

Do love my curries....so I need to know these things...!....just in case....

Cheers,

Rushie
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Cheers Alan,

If I get anymore gen...I'll post it under the same thread.

If not....hope you and the good lady have a super time...don't forget to post some photos in the gallery though.!

Rushie
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update

From Cruise ship report -

Alaskans Vote on Tax Package Aimed at Alaska Cruise Ship Business

Alaska residents went to the polls on August 22nd to vote on a so-called environmental initiative that could well chill the growth in recent years of cruise ship tourism to this popular summer destination.

Ballot Measure 2 would impose a $50 head tax on each Alaska cruise ship passenger (over and above current port fees), impose a 33 percent tax on the gross income of cruise ship casinos while operating off the Alaska coast, subject cruise lines to the state corporate income tax, and force cruise lines to publish their financial arrangements with businesses in each Alaskan port.

Since the polls in Alaska do not close until 8 p.m. local (midnight EDT), results of the vote -- which is expected to be close -- are not likely to be clear to interested viewers in the southern 48 states until sometime Wednesday.

The initiative ostensibly is designed to protect Alaska's environment, increasing fines for illegally dumping waste and creating a new bureaucracy of state-employed "ocean rangers" who would be put aboard every cruise ship to monitor "state and federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution requirements."

While the stiff head tax would mean higher fares for Alaska cruises, possibly putting a damper on passenger demand, and the environmental provisions are thought by many to be duplicative and unnecessary, neither of these would lead cruise lines to retreat from the Alaska cruise market.

But the casino tax, and the requirement that cruise lines make public details of their business arrangements with land tour operators and local merchants, potentially raise much more troublesome issues for the major cruise companies.

Casino gambling is illegal in Alaska, and cruise ship casinos must remain closed when the ships are in Alaskan ports. But federal law currently allows operation of casinos aboard the big cruise ships when a ship is more than three miles outside an Alaska port.

Beyond the question of how Alaska can tax an activity off its coast that is illegal in Alaska is the precedent passage of this measure -- and acceptance of it by cruise lines -- would set.

If Alaska enacts such a levy on cruise ship casinos and the cruise lines agree to it, which port-of-call will be next to try to get its hand in the cruise ship casino pot?

Similar precedential concerns apply to what can only be viewed as a highly mischievious effort by referendum organizers to expose the details of all financial arrangements between cruise lines and local Alaska businesses.

All of those tours that passengers book through cruise lines pay money to the cruise lines. The Alaska initiative would require that brochures used onboard cruise ships disclose the wholesale prices of these tours (the price the cruise line pays the tour operator before its markup) in 14 point type and in contrasting color.

What cruise line (not to mention what local tour operator) is going to want to see details of these business arrangements made public? And what purpose does it serve beyond providing useful pricing information to tour operators' often-unlicensed and underinsured competitors?

Another mischievous provision of Ballot Measure 2 would award persons who complain about any of the environmental activities of a cruise ship -- or file a civil suit against a cruise line -- up to 50 percent of any fine or civil judgment. Talk about encouraging frivolous lawsuits.

The measure also seems patently unfair to Alaska's two largest cruise ports, Juneau and Ketchikan. Communities visited by cruise ships will be entitled to $5 of the $50 head tax IF and only if they agree to give up any current tax they assess.

Since Ketchikan collects $7 per passenger to retire bonds the city issued for port improvements, and Juneau collects $10 per passenger for harbor improvements, neither would appear likely to give up these fees -- so none of the money presumably would go to the cruise industry's two most important ports.

The number of cruise ships sailing Alaskan itineraries has grown steadily in recent years, and they are expected to bring nearly one million visitors to Alaska this year making them the largest source of Alaska's tourists.

Among the lines with ships sailing in Alaska this summer are Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and SilverSea Cruises.

Ballot Measure 2 , which was qualified for the ballot by professional signature collectors hired by a California-based environmental group, is opposed by hundreds of Alaska's town and city governments, chambers of commerce, civic organizations, visitors bureaus, tour operators, tourists associations, and small businesses.

Needless to say, it also is opposed by the major cruise lines, who financed a campaign to defeat the measure through the North West CruiseShip Association based in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Rushie
 
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