JUNEAU - Cruise lines are required to disclose that Alaska tour operators pay to advertise their tours on board under a bill that became law Monday.
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Gov. Sarah Palin signed House Bill 217, which amends the disclosure language in the cruise ship initiative passed by voters in August.
Tour operators oppose the initiative's disclosure section as passed. They say the requirement that cruise lines publish commission rates would expose their price structures and could lead to unfair price undercutting by competitors.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Lindsey Holmes, D-Anchorage, was a compromise hammered out by tour operators, the cruise lines and sponsors of the initiative.
Besides disclosing that local operators pay for the advertising, the bill also requires that the cruise companies let passengers know they are free to book other tours on their own and provides information to help them do so.
The bill passed the House 27-10 and the Senate 20-0.
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