South Carolina Debates New Harbor Port Terminal reports Port Containers
Cruise ships' regional revenue and environmental impact to be argued over
In 2010, the over 2,000-passenger Carnival Cruise ship named the Fantasy has been held at Charleston, which, according to the Post & Courier, is considered outdated. Under the specific debate is whether a new cruise ship terminal should be built, as it is billed at over $35 million.
Those opposing the new terminal is Cruise Control, which is a preservation group. Also opposing are some individual citizens who find the ships' noise and pollution to be abhorrent. One such Carleston resident, whose home sits near the existing terminal, has complained to the New York Times, "I can hear the [ship's] announcements from my house. And that black smoke. It just tumbles out of that smokestack. You should see the dust in my car."
The supporters of the terminal argue that it will make the city a more attractive destination for more ships. The argument is that the resulting increase in cruise ship tourism is going to place more money in the merchant's till, which is better for the community as a whole.
Officials for the South Carolina Ports Authority have estimated that the cruise traffic currently contributes $37 million a year for the region. Upping that amount with a new investment is, to the group, a smart investment for the future.
Sociologist Ross Klein, a Memorial University professor in St. John's, Newfoundland, has taking up a study on the economic impact of ports in the area. He states that determining given ports gains/losses is “a bit of a hard [prediction].”
According to Klein, there are plenty of variables that include the cost of the terminal, and related infrastructures, as well as the cost of the ships, the environmental impact, quality of life, and so forth.
It also depends upon the affluence of passengers utilizing the cruise line. "Is it the K-Mart crowd, or is it the higher end?" Klein asks.
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