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Governor Parnell Promotes Alaska at Cruise Shipping Miami

Holland America Expecting an 11,000 Passenger Increase this Year to Alaska

March 15, 2011, Miami, Florida – Governor Sean Parnell today welcomed thousands of conference attendees and met with senior cruise executives at Cruise Shipping Miami, an annual international trade show and conference.

At the conference, the governor noted that Holland America is expecting an estimated increase of 11,000 passengers (in ship capacity and voyages) to Alaska this year.  After reductions in the head tax proposed by Governor Parnell, in 2011 Alaska will be welcoming new entrants to the market including Disney, Crystal Cruises, and Oceania. Last fall Princess announced an increase of more than 46,000 passengers on the cross-gulf ship, bringing the total increase in passengers visiting in Alaska to more than 60,000 in 2012.

At the conference today, the governor focused on the important economic impact the industry provides and the progress the State of Alaska has made improving the tax and regulatory environment.

“Last year, I attended Cruise Shipping Miami to meet the executives who make deployment decisions and discuss what steps the state can take to return the industry to growth,” Governor Parnell said.  “I am happy to report we have made great progress and am pleased with the immediate result of an additional 60,000 visitors to Alaska by next summer.”

Following his address at the opening session, the governor met with executives from every major cruise line operating in Alaska.

“Alaska faces tough worldwide competition and it is critical the CEOs of each cruise line personally hear our support for the industry and our commitment to continue to work to improve our business climate,” the governor added. “With more than 40,000 Alaska jobs supported by the visitor industry, it is critical Alaska maintain a strong presence in the market.”

Governor Parnell and Commissioner Susan Bell also met with the more than 30 Alaskans who also traveled to Miami to promote Alaska as one of the premier tourist destinations in the world. The governor expressed his appreciation for their hard work in helping support Alaska’s economy.

Cruise Shipping Miami brings together cruise line executives, industry suppliers and buyers, and representatives of destinations from around the world. With more than 10,000 people expected at the event, it is an opportunity for Alaska to showcase and promote itself as a unique cruise destination.

Overall in the visitor industry, Alaska is seeing signs of recovery, but 2010 was still well below peak visitation levels compared to 2007 and 2008.

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