It seems every large coastal city wants to be a cruise port, either as a place to visit or to be a home port where a ship operates from, and for good reason. Cruise ships can bring a lot of tourists and their dollars when they visit. At a time when local economies are recovering at best there is a lot of interest but not a lot of realistic expectations.
“The reality is they have as much chance to get a cruise ship to visit as they do in luring the Lakers from Los Angeles” says cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron CEO, CruiseGuy.com speaking of a feasibility study done by Brownsville, Texas. “These results are based on the cow jumping over the moon, planets aligning and may also require peace on earth!” he added.
Savanna, Georgia also did a study that returned “better than expected” results with big numbers like up to 350,000 visitors by 2020 and a potential industry of $100 million a year reports the Savannah Morning News.
Not so fast says Chiron, cautioning leaders to be realistic. “I think Savannah is a wonderful city and know it would make a wonderful option, but there needs to be more than desire and their reasoning is way off.”
Cruise lines move cautiously when choosing ports, opting for those that can serve the most potential passengers and produce the best financial results. While the allure of a cruise port may be the stuff tourism dreams are made of, Chiron concludes the big question is “Where will the cruise lines be able to reap the highest yields?” adding “This ultimately may delay Savannah’s heartfelt desires.”
Flickr photo by taberandrew