Poll mixed on managing cruise tourism

Online poll is second of five being conducted by city

Posted: Friday, November 09, 2001

A second city tourism poll shows support for more destination and independent travel to Juneau, but mixed opinions on how to address cruise ship tourism.

The Internet poll was the second of five the city is conducting as part of work on a long-range tourism management plan. Participation was down from the first round with 1,011 adults and 78 students registering an opinion. About 1,293 adults and 218 students participated in the first poll.

Destination travelers, who may visit in a group, on their own or as part of a package, usually stay more than one night and spend more on lodging, meals, tours and retail items, according to tourism planners. Ninety-one percent of poll respondents said Juneau should encourage destination travel to increase.

In response to a question about whether Juneau should encourage and support businesses geared toward destination travel, 41 percent said yes, 17 percent said no and 37 percent said yes, but Juneau should manage the scale.

"It appears that people are interested in having more of those travelers come to Juneau," said Maria Gladziszewski, director of the city's tourism office. "But the community needs to talk about what that means and what they would do with that."

Poll respondents were split over how Juneau should address cruise tourism. Twenty-one percent said Juneau should encourage growth, 34 percent supported managed growth at a rate the community can prepare for, 15 percent supported maintaining current levels, and 30 percent were in favor of reducing cruise tourism.

"There are definitely mixed opinions about cruise tourism. If you look at it by region, people who see it every day have different opinions than people who don't see it every day," Gladziszewski said.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said it was more important to manage the impacts and benefits of cruise tourism while 33 percent said it was more important to manage the numbers of passengers and/or ships. Nine percent were undecided.

The results listed include adult and student responses. The third poll starts at 7 a.m. Saturday and runs through 7 a.m. Thursday.

Gladziszewski said some people are just finding out about the Web polls. The city is receiving more requests for personal identification numbers, or PINs, from people who lost or threw them out and is happy to give them out again, she added. A PIN is needed to access the polls.

"The more people who do it, the better idea we have about what the community thinks," she said.

The dates of the fourth and fifth polls have been moved from December to January and a public meeting about the tourism plan is scheduled for Dec. 5.

People who need a PIN can send an e-mail with a daytime phone number to tourism@ci.juneau.ak.us and city staff will call back, Gladziszewski said. Anyone responding with a paper copy of future polls needs to turn it in by 4 p.m. the Wednesday before the Web version ends, she added.

For more information and complete poll results visit www.juneauempire.com/tourism or www.cbjtourism.com.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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