About the tourism plan

Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2002

I think the Juneau Draft Tourism Management Plan ("D-TMP") addresses many of the concerns and offers ideas for reconciling the diversity of opinions that exists in our community. I like the plan and hope that we are able to "succeed at both cruise tourism and destination travel - with success being defined on Juneau's terms." (Page 1).

My comments relate to four broad areas:

• Poll participation

• Juneau Tourism Partnership

• Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau

• Cruise ship safety valve strategy

The number of respondents in the poll has decreased each time. I realize that the time to respond to Poll 4 was much greater since one needed to read the D-TMP but this is a huge decrease!

Poll 1 - 1,511 respondents

Poll 2 - 1,089 respondents

Poll 3 - 977 respondents

Poll 4 - 171 respondents (as of 10 a.m. April 16)

The Juneau Tourism Partnership is a good idea. A specific requirement that the public stakeholders group be limited to those Juneau residents who are not involved with cruise-related, destination-related or downtown retail sectors would ensure participation from these residents.

The idea of requiring the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau to demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing activities would provide accountability for the city funds paid to that group. I like this idea.

The report states "volume of visitors (about 700,000 in 2001) represents a near-capacity situation for Juneau harbor" (Page 42). The industry is advising that there may be an additional increase of about 10 percent in 2002, although many factors may influence that.

The idea of a cruise ship safety valve strategy (Page 100) needs to be considered now. The development of a new cruise destination off Juneau's road grid but within the same general destination could result in a win-win situation.

Since the report indicates that Juneau has reached near-capacity and since we are developing a proactive, rather than reactive, approach, this new destination strategy could mitigate some of the disparate attitudes about tourism here.

Sara H. Willson

Auke Bay

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