By George Angus, Alaska Transportation Examiner
It’s no surprise that tourism is big business in Alaska. Folks from all over the world flock to our fair state every summer (and more and more in the winter). What’s not to love, right? Pristine beauty, wildlife, glaciers.
One of the best ways to see what Alaska has to offer is by taking a cruise. The cruise industry is huge in Alaska. For some people it is the only way to travel. They like the community aspect, they like the catered to component and they love the planned activity.
So this past year the State got greedy and slapped an additional $50 per person tax on the cruise industry. They seemed like a good place to squeeze a nickel and I guess it seemed like a good idea to spread the wealth and leave the oil companies alone for a minute.
The second part of this one-two punch is the influence the environmental wackos had on making waste water regs so stiff, it was almost impossible to stay in compliance.
Now, I’m not advocating a free for all dumping of sludge in every port, I’m just saying reason should take hold at some point during the process.
So, the news bite here is that Royal Caribbean is pulling one of it’s ships out of the Alaska rotation. The knuckleheads who put us in this position are jumping up and down screaming “foul” because they view this as political posturing and grandstanding by the cruise companies. They don’t like the timing of this one bit, as it correlates to the legislature being in session. Well, duh. If I was in the same position I would do exactly the same thing.
The state had better pay attention here. I think to a certain extent we should cater to the tourism industry. We need a back up for when we’ve irritated the oil companies enough to make them leave our state.
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