- Associated Press - Saturday, April 29, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A record number of cruise passengers are expected to land in Juneau this summer.

Cruise Lines International Association Alaska President John Binkley announced at Thursday’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon that more than 1 million summer cruise passengers are traveling to Juneau, The Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/2psh30d). The association predicts the travelers stopping in the city from May 1 to Sept. 30 will spend around $183 million.

“The next time you’re waiting behind a tour bus and you see a lot of congestion,” Binkley said, “just think that, ‘Today, there was a million and a quarter dollars spent, outside money that’s coming into Juneau, into our economy here by those visitors,’ and maybe that’ll make you feel a little bit better.”

The cruise ship tourism industry is growing worldwide, Binkley said. The Cruise Lines International Association’s cruise lines have seen an estimated 7 percent annual increase. About 4 percent of its passengers have Juneau as one of their destinations.

More cruise ships, such as Windstar, are expected to come through Alaska in the coming years, and average passenger space is expected to increase by 15 percent from 2015 to 2018.

The first cruise ship for the 2017 season is scheduled to arrive Monday.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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