After record-breaking season, Juneau task force takes on tourism challenges

Cruise ships in Juneau. (Photo by Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN)

Should the City and Borough of Juneau do more to directly address its growing tourism industry?

That’s the question Mayor Beth Weldon has charged a new visitor industry task force with answering. The move follows a record-breaking increase in the number of cruise ship visitors last summer.

Juneau Assembly member Carole Triem will chair the committee. She said locals were especially vocal about the impacts from tourism this past summer.

“We’ve reached a point where it’s necessary to take a look at what the impacts are from tourism and do we want to mitigate those in any way?” Triem said.

Mayor Weldon wants the task force to focus on are whether the city’s current approach to managing tourism is effective and whether the city should update its waterfront development plan. She also wants them to tackle the controversial topic of capping the number of cruise ship visitors to Juneau.

Related: When it comes to cruise ship passengers, how much is too much? Visitor industry insiders differ.

Assembly member Wade Bryson will also serve on the committee, along with eight members representing a range of perspectives on tourism in Juneau.

They are Dan Blanchard, Alida Bus, Craig Dahl, Kirby Day, Holly Johnson, Bobbie Meszaros, Meilani Schijvens and Paula Terrel.

The task force has until the end of February to submit its recommendations to the Assembly.

Triem said the task force’s first meeting will be next Tuesday at noon. She plans to have the group meet monthly.

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