Why single out tour operators?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006

I am a tour operator however I'm not an "actor" nor have I been "invited" to oppose Ballot Measure 2, regarding cruise ship taxation, regulation and disclosure. Instead, as a business person, I see Ballot Measure 2 as little more than the unnecessary intrusion of government into private enterprise.

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I apologize to those of you who already have a grasp of basic economics but given the tone of many of the recent letters on this subject, it appears a short lesson on it is warranted. Quite simply, the tour my company operates is my product, and just like an item on a shelf at any local store, my product costs money to produce. The amount I choose to mark up that cost is called a profit margin. If the resulting price is too high, my product doesn't sell - if that price is acceptable to consumers, then they purchase my product. This is capitalism at its most fundamental level, and I don't see how Measure 2 does anything to improve it.

I also question why this disclosure provision would be applied only to tours sold onboard cruise ships? If there is really something wrong with the way business in America is and has been conducted for the last 230 years, shouldn't every business be obligated to divulge their pricing information? Why should we make a special case with tour operators? If we extend the supposed logic of this measure, shouldn't anyone selling anything be required to divulge their pricing information?

The framers of this measure have overstepped both the bounds of necessity and reality with their disclosure requirement. I urge you to oppose Ballot Measure 2 on Tuesday.

Mark Kaelke

Bear Creek Outfitters

Juneau



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