The budget for state-funded tourism marketing has been cut by nearly 80 percent, but Alaska’s tourism industry continues to grow. Visitor counts for 2016 aren’t available yet, but in 2015, the state attracted a record 2 million visitors.
A $54 million project to add a pair of floating cruise ship berths to Juneau’s downtown waterfront is within months of completion. The project will expand the port’s capacity to accommodate larger vessels. That’s because cruise ships in Alaska are getting bigger.
The Juneau mayor’s tax initiative will certainly be welcomed by the cruise line industry which says its passengers pay nearly $8 million in sales tax while onshore in Juneau but has historically not paid sales tax for goods and services sold aboard its vessels.