Alaskan State Governor Sean Parnell, speaking in Miami, said the state was committed to environmental compliance, and that tourism represents $3.4 billion to the Alaskan economy and 40,000 jobs.
“Last year the state of the cruise industry in my state wasn’t very good,” said Parnell. “We went to work and turned around not only the perception but the reality.”
Parnell pointed out the cost of operations in Alaska and the head tax, noting that the tax has been lowered by 25 percent in the last year with further incentives for calls in Juneau and Ketchikan.
Priorities are “tourism marketing and a sustainable environmental regime,” according to Parnell.
“Alaska is on the right course,” added Parnell, saying that they were currently working hard on wastewater regulations.
Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line, credited the new Alaskan Governor for the changes the state pushed through. “You are seeing our response, bringing passengers back in 2012,” said Kruse. “It shows the partnership that can exist between private industry and government can really work.”