Location:
BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS; BOATS AND BOATING; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; STATE AID; TOURISM;
Scope:
Background;

OLR Research Report


July 7, 2010

 

2010-R-0283

CRUISE SHIP TASK FORCE

By: Kevin E. McCarthy, Principal Analyst

You asked for the following information regarding the Cruise Ship Task Force:

1. what is the task force's history;

2. who are its members;

3. how much funding have state agencies (the departments of Economic and Community Development and Transportation and the Commission on Culture and Tourism) provided to the task force or for marketing cruise ships in Connecticut; and

4. have there been any studies on the economic impact of cruise ships stopping in the state.

We answer each question in turn. Further information about the task force is available at www.ctcruiseship.com/, where we obtained much of their information in this report.

HISTORY

A group of individuals interested in promoting New London as a stop for cruise ships formed an ad hoc group for this purpose in 2002. With the help, the Regal Empress (Imperial Cruise Line) became the first cruise ship in recent history to call at New London in September 2002.

In 2004, the group was incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization, the tax classification often used by chambers of commerce and related organizations. The task force seeks to coordinate cruise ship visits to Connecticut ports serving as the link between private and public interests to promote the development of cruise ship passenger visits to the state.

In subsequent years, the task force successfully encouraged cruise ships to call at Connecticut ports, particularly New London. There were two ships that called at New London in 2007 and three in 2008, one of which (the Royal Princess), called five times that year. In 2009, no ships called at the port, due to a proposed change in federal Department of Homeland Security regulations that affected cruise ship itineraries (the proposed regulation was subsequently withdrawn). One ship will call at the port later this year, and the task force is working to have another ship call this year.

TASK FORCE MEMBERSHIP

Table 1 lists the task force members and their affiliations. The president of the task force's board is John Casey and its executive director is George Cassidy.

Table 1: Membership of Cruise Ship Task Force

Name

Affiliation

Martin Berliner

City of New London

John Casey

Robinson and Cole

Mary-Jane Cassidy

Connecticut College

Stephen Davis

Logistec USA, Inc

Edward Dombroskas

Eastern Regional Tourism District

Peter Glankoff

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration

Charlotte Hennigan

Thames River Greenery

Colin Johnson

Peter Pan/Arrow Bus

Andrew Maynard

State Senate

Stan Mickus

Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc

William O'Boyle

Moran Shipping

Joyce O. Resnikoff

Olde Mistick Village

Jeff Ryalls

International Forest Products

Andrea L. Stillman

State Senate

Steve White

Mystic Seaport

STATE FUNDING

In 2007, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) awarded the task force a $52,000 grant to support the cruise ship industry in southeast Connecticut. The grant was used to pay for shuttle buses that ferry cruise ship passengers from State Pier to a welcoming station at Union Station in downtown New London and also to help pay for station rental costs during the various port calls.

Also in 2007, the task force received a $30,000 grant from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism that was matched by an equal contribution from the Mystic Coast & Country Travel Industry Association.

The task force has not received any funding to date from the Department of Transportation, although the department has provided moral support, according to Casey.

ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSIS

In 2004, DECD analyzed the economic consequences and benefits of scheduled visits by cruise ships to one of Connecticut's deep water ports. DECD estimated that the arrival of a ship carrying 1,800 passengers and crew to New London would generate an economic gain of $183,105 in gross state product to the Connecticut economy in the year of the visit.

As part of the analysis, DECD ran another simulation on the impact across 53 industries based on one visit per year for a 20-year period. The simulation showed that one visit yielded an annual net gain to the gross state product of $130,101 on average and $1.7 million on a 20-year net present value basis. Total employment growth averages three jobs. Fiscally, the cruise ship visit produces average annual net state tax revenues of $3,119. The analysis is available at www.ct.gov/ecd/lib/ecd/crusie_ship_in_new_london_eia_3.19.04_.pdf.

KM:ts