US Cruise Port Eliminates Cruise Ship Committee

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Bar Harbor is ending the cruise ship committee that has provided insights and proposals on working with the cruise business for greater than a decade, with no agency plans in movement for any kind of substitute.

This is the latest step within the city’s efforts to restrict cruise ship exercise, a regulation that’s at the moment being challenged in courtroom.

Cruise Ship Committee to Be Disbanded

In a unanimous 6-0 vote, the city council of Bar Harbor, Maine has opted to eradicate the cruise ship committee that was established years in the past to supply steerage on cruise tourism points. While the committee has offered useful info and proposals through the years, it has come to be seen as probably biased and not represents the total scale of tourism in the neighborhood.

The general feeling among the many city council is that the cruise ship committee has “outlived its purpose” because the city’s tourism has grown in numerous sectors through the years.

Councilor Kyle Shank spoke with the Maine Wire about what he believed to be inherent bias within the cruise ship committee.

“The Cruise Ship Committee is the only Committee written into our Town Code that has specific seats held for specific industry representatives,” Shank defined.

Bar Harbor, Maine
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

“While this certainly may have served a need at the time, I believe it is unprincipled to have an entire committee focused solely on the advancement of a single industry as we would not, I believe, do this equally for other industries in our community.”

The 17-member committee has been comprised of 1 city council member, the Harbor Master, the city’s Deputy Clerk, the native Police Chief, two native enterprise representatives, and two native residents. Various members of native cruise business sectors and companies that service cruise company have been additionally a part of the committee, together with taxi excursions, shore excursions, and Acadia National Park.

Among the duties of the committee have been yearly opinions of the cruise season to notice any operational or environmental points, reviewing the annual cruise ship price range, sustaining open communications with the cruise business, and making ship visitation suggestions as wanted.

It have to be famous that whereas the cruise ship committee did present completely different suggestions to the city council, it has all the time been as much as the council to both settle for or reject suggestions with your entire group’s profit into consideration.

A New Committee Planned

Now, the will is to determine a broader, extra well-rounded committee that may serve the pursuits of all tourism elements, slightly than simply specializing in cruise ships.

Such a brand new committee would come with enter from, however not unique to, the cruise business, together with different resorts, retailers, resorts, tour operators, and so forth.

Cruise Ship in Bar Harbor, Maine
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

At the second, no plans have been made to type a brand new tourism committee, nor has there been dialogue about how such a committee can be comprised or the way it may presumably connect with the cruise business.

Cruising Remains Controversial

At the second, Bar Harbor remains to be looking for to cap cruise ship visits, an initiative that started in August 2022 and was authorised by vote in November 2022.

In the November vote, a cap of 1,000 guests per day was enacted, a lot stricter than an earlier restrict of three,500-5,500 passengers per day, relying on the season, with larger limits throughout the peak cruise season.

The transition to the brand new limits was supposed as a gradual strategy, however will take full impact in 2024.

Local companies have challenged the ordinance by way of a federal lawsuit, nonetheless, alleging that it violates federal maritime legal guidelines in addition to the US Constitution as utilized to interstate commerce. That lawsuit stays undecided right now, however the construction of native committees won’t possible be impacted by the authorized motion.

Bar Harbor Cruise

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