Governor Lauds Tourism Tax Reduction
April 19, 2010, Juneau, Alaska- Governor Sean Parnell today welcomed the passage of Senate Bill 312, which reduces the cruise passenger excise tax from $46 to $34.50. Recognizing the significant impact the decline in cruise ship travel has on Alaska jobs and Alaska businesses, Governor Parnell introduced legislation that sends a clear message to cruise passengers and the industry that Alaska welcomes visitors. Many elements of SB 311, proposed by the governor, have been incorporated into SB 312.“Alaska businesses have suffered because of the impacts of this tax,” Governor Parnell said. “We need to incentivize tour travel to Alaska and build our businesses. Enactment of this bill will put litigation between the cruise industry and the state behind us and allow us to focus on restoring tour travel. I appreciate the Legislature’s consideration of this bill.” Governor Parnell also welcomed the increased funding to the Alaska Travel Industry Association for tourism marketing. After decades of steady growth in cruise ship passenger visits to Alaska, the state is facing a 15 percent decline in cruise visitation this summer. Including job losses suffered last year and potential losses this year, visitor industry related employment is projected to decline by up to 5,000 jobs, or more than 10 percent.