Cruise industry gets a thank you from city

James
James McLeod
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The city of St. John's invited members of the cruise ship industry to city hall Friday night to thank them; it's been a good few years.

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he can remember a time when one cruise executive believed Newfoundland didn't have trees.

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe greets Labrador entertainers at a reception for the cruise industry Friday night. - Photo by The Telegram

The city of St. John's invited members of the cruise ship industry to city hall Friday night to thank them; it's been a good few years.

Mayor Dennis O'Keefe said he can remember a time when one cruise executive believed Newfoundland didn't have trees.

"That cruise line is now one of the best friends of this city and province, and is sending ships here on a regular basis," he said. "So we've gone from being an absolutely unknown quantity to being on a first-name basis."

This seasons, 24 ships will visit the city, and will contribute millions of dollars to the economy.

Better still, Kevin Gushue, manager of tourism for the City of St. John's, said smaller ships are using the harbour as their base for trips to Labrador and other nearby destinations.

The trips that use the city as a home port pump more money into the city, since tourists stay in a hotel room before they get on the boat, and may bookend their trip with several days of sightseeing in the metro area.

"Every year it brings in revenue and it gives exposure to thousands and thousands of visitors who come here by cruise ship," Gushue said. "A certain number of them of course will come back and spend longer here, but they'll also tell people where they're from about what a great experience they had."

Once upon a time the city would have been thrilled with 30 ships visiting the city in the summer.

" We know we're going to surpass that in a few years' time," Gushue said. "Now we're looking at 50, but it could go even beyond that if Labrador becomes like the Alaska of this side of the country."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Labrador, St. John's, Alaska

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Recent comments

  • Whatever Bud
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    Having worked in the service industry for many years I can assure you of these things about cruise ships and their passengers:

    Cruise ship passengers do not spend any money while they are here,they take cruises because they are all inclusive,so they don't have to spend another dime.

    The crews can barely afford to live,they used to all go to The Bargain Shop (old Woolworths) when that was open,but that's about it.

    They get to buy our water while we are scarcely allowed to take a shower (yet for some reason the elite can still water their lawns 24/7)

    They are the worst polluters EVER:
    While the passengers attention is diverted to some tourist attraction,zillions of gallons of bilge and photo processing chemicals get dumped into the ocean.

    The only people who make money off the cruise ships is the already rich petroleum industry.

    The City provides samaritans ,volunteers to help passengers navigate the city. If the cruise business was as lucractive as Doc would make you believe,why aren't some people being PAID to be tour guides??

    It's all just another illusion created by City Hall,the land of smoke and mirrors.

  • Gerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Great news Doc...your taxpayer financed Florida tan has really paid off.Now when the fifty ships come in the harbour and suck up their free water to fill their tanks in the summertime while I cant even wash my car or clean my property I will think of you. What an $ss!

  • bayman
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Yes, there is a petrified forest right there in City Hall.

  • Eugene
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Well, I now know why Dennis hasn't responded to my emails asking for his position on the Fortis development: he's too busy patting himself (and his 'cruise industry' buddies on the backs). When a city gives concessions to cruise lines to get their ships here, the cruise line complies because they are just looking at keeping costs down, not a new place to spend money. And Whatever Bud hit it on the head: when my parents, siblings go on cruises it's for the all-inclusive aspect...very little, if any, is spent on shore excursions - duty free is available on the ship. There may be a couple of downtown merchants who sell trinkets, souvenirs so Mr. Mayor should take credit for the several hundred hours of minimum wage employment his efforts bring to the city.

  • KL
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    It's nice to know that while city residents and getting slapped with (and paying) higher taxes, received a mass of on-street parking tickets during a period of no snow, and are under a frequent water ban that someone is being thanked. Thank you as well City Hall!! Nice to know my money is being spent to help vacationers as opposed to every day citizens and services.

  • Shari
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    When the cruise ship comes in on a hot sunny day and the wind is blowing right at em and they get a whiff of the new smell in town from our waste water plant those ships will be few and far between.

    I have been there and I have breathed it in, can't wait to share it with the rest of ya!!!

    And when they get off the ship and see garbage piled in alley ways, roads with pot holes the size of suna tubs, buildings with graffitti, windows boarded up, some sightly ones on water street I see now....

    Yes Dennis old man, you can be proud.

  • Political Watcher
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    If Doc O'Keefe wasn't receiving two to three trips each wither to Florida and california, we wouldn't see a cruise ship in our waters.
    Attracting them is a total waste of money; they are polluters and only take money away, they don't leave behind the wealth the O'Keefe and company would lead you to believe; just go to the harbour at the end of the day and watch the passengers board, very few, very few are carying bags. Considering that they have five buffets a day I don't believe they are eating at our restaurants.
    Spending money on these ships is useless and provide little return.
    Now, the O'Keefe's of the world will say the vessel has 1300 passengers and 700 crew thus providing an economic spinoff off of 3000 people. Well, not all passengers get off the ship and the crew just can't afford to buy anything which is why they all bunch together and go to the Price Club when they are here.
    We have been having the wool pulled over our eyes for too long and allowing O'Kefe to winter down south too often.
    Besides; With O'Keefe as mayor, isn't it a conflict to have him chair the Cruise Ship Association as they receive most of their financial support from the City. I guess having Doc's travel coming out of the Association account eliminates and chance of public scrutny.

  • Cruise This
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    When a businessman gets all chummy with you, you can bet your bottom dollar he know he's getting the better half of the deal.

    What component of my property tax is for water services ? Cruise ships pay a ridiculously low flat fee for enormous quantities of water. Something in the order of $180 for over a million gallons (someone please confirm this for me). This has to stop. Water should be metered and the cruise ships should pay going North American rates, if not the rates of their Flag of Convenience.

    How do we calculate the cost of damage by pollution ? Damage to fish, marine animals and ultimately local fishermen and this sector of the economy ? The Coast Guard has admitted they can in no way even estimate the number of cruise ships circumnavigating our northern reaches. Not even estimate ! The cruise ships do not register their passage as they are required by law. There is no way to monitor the bilge they pump overboard while out of sight. Canada will spend billions over the next few decades to build ships for the Coast Guard to try and get a handle on this situation, but they fear the exponential growth of the number of cruise ships will vastly outpace the number of CG vessels built.

    When a person pays the big cost for a cruise just like a trip down south with an all-inclusive meal package, where do you think most people eat ? That's right, keep your arm bracelets on boys and girls.

  • Whatever Bud
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Having worked in the service industry for many years I can assure you of these things about cruise ships and their passengers:

    Cruise ship passengers do not spend any money while they are here,they take cruises because they are all inclusive,so they don't have to spend another dime.

    The crews can barely afford to live,they used to all go to The Bargain Shop (old Woolworths) when that was open,but that's about it.

    They get to buy our water while we are scarcely allowed to take a shower (yet for some reason the elite can still water their lawns 24/7)

    They are the worst polluters EVER:
    While the passengers attention is diverted to some tourist attraction,zillions of gallons of bilge and photo processing chemicals get dumped into the ocean.

    The only people who make money off the cruise ships is the already rich petroleum industry.

    The City provides samaritans ,volunteers to help passengers navigate the city. If the cruise business was as lucractive as Doc would make you believe,why aren't some people being PAID to be tour guides??

    It's all just another illusion created by City Hall,the land of smoke and mirrors.

  • Gerry
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Great news Doc...your taxpayer financed Florida tan has really paid off.Now when the fifty ships come in the harbour and suck up their free water to fill their tanks in the summertime while I cant even wash my car or clean my property I will think of you. What an $ss!

  • bayman
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Yes, there is a petrified forest right there in City Hall.

  • Eugene
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Well, I now know why Dennis hasn't responded to my emails asking for his position on the Fortis development: he's too busy patting himself (and his 'cruise industry' buddies on the backs). When a city gives concessions to cruise lines to get their ships here, the cruise line complies because they are just looking at keeping costs down, not a new place to spend money. And Whatever Bud hit it on the head: when my parents, siblings go on cruises it's for the all-inclusive aspect...very little, if any, is spent on shore excursions - duty free is available on the ship. There may be a couple of downtown merchants who sell trinkets, souvenirs so Mr. Mayor should take credit for the several hundred hours of minimum wage employment his efforts bring to the city.

  • KL
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    It's nice to know that while city residents and getting slapped with (and paying) higher taxes, received a mass of on-street parking tickets during a period of no snow, and are under a frequent water ban that someone is being thanked. Thank you as well City Hall!! Nice to know my money is being spent to help vacationers as opposed to every day citizens and services.

  • Shari
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    When the cruise ship comes in on a hot sunny day and the wind is blowing right at em and they get a whiff of the new smell in town from our waste water plant those ships will be few and far between.

    I have been there and I have breathed it in, can't wait to share it with the rest of ya!!!

    And when they get off the ship and see garbage piled in alley ways, roads with pot holes the size of suna tubs, buildings with graffitti, windows boarded up, some sightly ones on water street I see now....

    Yes Dennis old man, you can be proud.

  • Political Watcher
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    If Doc O'Keefe wasn't receiving two to three trips each wither to Florida and california, we wouldn't see a cruise ship in our waters.
    Attracting them is a total waste of money; they are polluters and only take money away, they don't leave behind the wealth the O'Keefe and company would lead you to believe; just go to the harbour at the end of the day and watch the passengers board, very few, very few are carying bags. Considering that they have five buffets a day I don't believe they are eating at our restaurants.
    Spending money on these ships is useless and provide little return.
    Now, the O'Keefe's of the world will say the vessel has 1300 passengers and 700 crew thus providing an economic spinoff off of 3000 people. Well, not all passengers get off the ship and the crew just can't afford to buy anything which is why they all bunch together and go to the Price Club when they are here.
    We have been having the wool pulled over our eyes for too long and allowing O'Kefe to winter down south too often.
    Besides; With O'Keefe as mayor, isn't it a conflict to have him chair the Cruise Ship Association as they receive most of their financial support from the City. I guess having Doc's travel coming out of the Association account eliminates and chance of public scrutny.

  • Cruise This
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    When a businessman gets all chummy with you, you can bet your bottom dollar he know he's getting the better half of the deal.

    What component of my property tax is for water services ? Cruise ships pay a ridiculously low flat fee for enormous quantities of water. Something in the order of $180 for over a million gallons (someone please confirm this for me). This has to stop. Water should be metered and the cruise ships should pay going North American rates, if not the rates of their Flag of Convenience.

    How do we calculate the cost of damage by pollution ? Damage to fish, marine animals and ultimately local fishermen and this sector of the economy ? The Coast Guard has admitted they can in no way even estimate the number of cruise ships circumnavigating our northern reaches. Not even estimate ! The cruise ships do not register their passage as they are required by law. There is no way to monitor the bilge they pump overboard while out of sight. Canada will spend billions over the next few decades to build ships for the Coast Guard to try and get a handle on this situation, but they fear the exponential growth of the number of cruise ships will vastly outpace the number of CG vessels built.

    When a person pays the big cost for a cruise just like a trip down south with an all-inclusive meal package, where do you think most people eat ? That's right, keep your arm bracelets on boys and girls.