Our priority: To encourage accurate and honest reporting by the media.
For years Alaskans seasonal tourism business owners have struggled to make their income dollars stretch the entire year, resorting to innovative measures to keep their companies viable. Over the past thirty or more years these small Alaskan business owners have grown and collectively become an important economic generator for Jobs, distributors of substantial payroll spent in Alaska communities, collectors of sales taxes for cities, and have contributed to the infrastructure needed to support the Travel Industry across our State. Since the adoption of the Cruise Tax initiative two years ago and the implementation of its variety of taxing provisions it is very doubtful that many of these small Alaska entrepreneurs will continue to survive as cruise ships reposition to other countries. It is very clear they are moving ships to where they are not unfairly taxed or required to comply with unobtainable requirements of regulation. As announcements that additional ships will be pulled from the Alaska market in 2011 and 2012 the potential collapse of this industry within some our communities has become a stark reality.
Anyone following the development of the Alaska Tax initiative that was passed two years ago can now easily see the reporting of what it stood for and what good it would to for our communities was far from accurate. Purporting the fact that ships would never leave Alaska and the tax would not keep people from traveling to our state just are not true. Information provided to Alaskans painting the picture of cruise lines polluting Alaska air and water and providing no benefit what so ever to our State have been reported Statewide and at times virtually unchallenged as the media disregards any attempt of the cruise lines to tell their side or balance facts that should be available to all Alaskans. The Alaska Alliance for Cruise Travel will monitor reports distributed throughout our state and provide accurate fact information to help Alaskans and our Government leadership make better educated decisions about returning the industry to a positive and measurable growth. ProvidingAlaskans with accurate information about the cruise industry and its value to our State is the only way this industry will return and stabilize our visitor industry.