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AlaskaACT issues statement regarding new Princess ship to be deployed to Alaska in 2012

October 14, 2010, Juneau Alaska -- Alaska Alliance for CruiseTravel (AlaskaACT) released the following statement regarding Princess Cruises announcement to deploy a new ship to Alaska in 2012.

"Today's announcement is very good news for Alaska," said Bob Berto, President of the Alaska Alliance for Cruise Travel.  "After two tough visitor seasons, this is the news that many businesses and communities have been hoping for.  We would like to thank Princess Cruises for being responsive to the changing business climate in Alaska.  This new ship could bring 45,000 visitors spending money across our state, giving our businesses a boost, creating jobs, and raising additional tax dollars for our communities," Berto said.

After two years of decline, AlaskaACT was one of many organizations that approached the Governor and the Legislature for help to bring ships back to Alaska.  AlaskaACT members advocated for a reduced cruise ship tax in order to make Alaska more competitive in the global market.

A study prepared by Juneau research firm McDowell Group, showed that Alaska lost 2,000 jobs this year when three ships left the Alaska market.  The job loss over two years has been calculated at 5,400.

"I think all of Alaska received a wake up call when we saw ships leaving Alaska," Berto said. "There is no question excessive taxes and government regulations hurt our business climate.  Fortunately, the Governor and the Legislature took steps to put us on a new course.  While more work needs to be done, today's announcement is proof positive that improving our business climate can lead to a stronger economy," Berto said.

The 2010 cruise season saw 142,000 fewer visitors.  In 2011, Alaska will be gaining three ships but losing two, resulting in a new loss of 130,000 from 2009.  The new Princess Cruises ship could bring 45,000 passengers in 2012, which will still leave a cruise visitor deficit of 85,000 from the 2009 season.

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