The South Carolina Senate passed a Concurrent Resolution Thursday afternoon in a show of thanks for Carnival Cruise Lines for the company’s positive economic contributions to the state of the South Carolina and for operating in a balanced, environmentally sensitive way.

Sponsored by Sen. Larry Grooms, chairman of both the Transportation Committee as well as the South Carolina Ports Authority’s Review and Oversight Commission, the Resolution points to Carnival’s broad contributions to the state’s economy, whether acquiring products and services locally, putting hundreds of individuals to work, or spurring local spending by cruise guests and crew members. The Resolution cites Charleston’s long tradition of welcoming visitors, who come to enjoy the area's amenities, beaches, historic sites, and carefully preserved architecture.

“The city is a museum in and of itself,” the Resolution states, “a treasure that should be shared, not sheltered.

Referenced are survey data of more than 1,500 embarking passengers that showed:

Nearly one-third of Charleston's cruise passengers are South Carolina residentsmore than one-third stayed more than one night in one of more than 50 different hotels across the areaone-half ate in one of more than 100 different restaurantsnearly 40 percent shopped in resident-oriented retail stores, locally-owned shops, and tourist-oriented stores throughout the area 

Further, the Resolution praises Carnival’s environmental stewardship. The line has voluntarily set strict environmental standards and practices that exceed federal and international law, thereby complementing the South Carolina Ports Authority’s commitment to operating in a balanced and environmentally sensitive manner.

Read the Senate’s full Resolution here: http://scstatehouse.net/sess119_2011-2012/prever/968_20110616.htm

The Senate joins the South Carolina House of Representatives, which passed its own Resolution standing up for Carnival earlier this week, as well as the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Addressing the lawsuit filed Monday against Carnival, Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce said, “South Carolina prides itself on being a tourism-friendly state, and this lawsuit sends the wrong message to companies considering locating here. Businesses like Carnival Cruise Lines are critical to economic development and essential to creating jobs and wealth for South Carolinians.

“As the cruise industry continues to grow, South Carolina is proud Carnival has chosen Charleston. This frivolous lawsuit has the potential to set a dangerous precedent, and the business community will not allow this attack on economic growth and jobs to stand,” he said.