Show visitors Haines' sparkle
Mr. John Binkley’s, president of Alaska Cruise Lines Inc., presentation at the chamber luncheon said although the cruise ship industry will not increase in number of ships visiting Haines we can expect an 8.7 percent increase in visitors" (ships are getting larger). Our borough spending $20,000 on another study will not increase the number of ship visits. Why? Other communities and nations are also clamoring for ship visits and spending huge bucks in their promotion, and we just cannot compete. He suggested our cruise ship vendors offer free tours to our cruise ship crews, so they will convey to passengers onboard their ship that Haines has wonderful tours and there is a reason to leave the vessel and visit our town. But we can boost that suggestion up several notches by initiating a whole new proactive approach by making our town sparkle and shine with community parks, activities, a friendly attitude and community pride. The goal is to drive the ship planners crazy thinking they have missed something. Haines should be unique to visitors and present one of Alaska’s only cruise destinations to provide insight into the daily lives of real Alaskans, instead of the mega shopping centers offering T-shirt shops, tourism stuff made in China, and jewelry stores found at every Alaskan port. Create a reason for visitors to carry the message back to their ship or RV, that Haines was the best stop of their whole trip.