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Cruise ship Symposium, February 9

P&C struggles with the facts

Warwick Jones

We did not attend the Cruise ship Symposium that ended yesterday. But we read the editorial and news reports in the Post and Courier. Herewith some extracts from the editions of the last 3 days relating to the event. Viewers can draw their own conclusion and make their own judgment.

P&C Editorial - While neither the city nor the State Ports Authority accepted the Preservation Society’s invitation to attend the conference, the hosts will make information available.

News Report by Tyrone Richardson, Robert Behre - Preservation Society Executive Director Evan Thompson said neither Charleston Mayor Joe Riley nor port officials were invited to be panelists. “We didn’t want the same spin,” he said.

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P&C Editorial - Soon after a forum put on by the Historic Charleston Foundation three years ago, in which the city and the port both participated, the question was misrepresented as “jobs versus snobs.”

News Report by Tyrone Richardson, Robert Behre - But later in the afternoon, Thompson also urged participants not to refer to cruise passengers as “those people.” Supporters of the cruise industry in Charleston often have painted their opponents as snobs wealthy enough not to care about the jobs the industry brings. “Can we stop talking about cruise ship passengers as ‘those people’ or ‘part of a horde?’ ” Thompson said.

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There was also a comment that was pertinent to the claim by CCL and others that the SPA plans to expand the number of cruise ships allowed to berth in Charleston.

SC Coastal Conservation League Website -The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) plans to increase cruise ship visits and build a new cruise terminal……. There is rising concern about the style of economic development that will arise in response to a doubling and tripling of cruise tourism…

News Report by Robert Behre - Craig Milan, a former Royal Caribbean executive who has spent 12 years in the cruise industry, offered some consolation to those concerned about cruise ships’ growing presence here. “I can assure you the Oasis of the Sea will never be in Charleston,” he said. “There’s just not the market for that ship. ... You’ll always be a niche port.”

For the record, the SPA is not planning to increase cruise ship visits. It has consistently stated that Charleston is a niche port and cannot sustain more than one cruise ship.



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