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Novel idea

With all the misinformation pedaled as truth, the Ketchikan Visitor Bureau had a novel idea.

KVB, along with the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, held a myth busters gathering less than a week ago.

The assembly featured tourism interests and, of course, cruise ships proved to be the hot topic of the day.

The idea piqued Ketchikan’s interest, too, judging by a respectable turnout of about 80 people. Others later asked for the information presented.

Topics covered primarily the financial presence of the cruise industry in the community, and its ownership of businesses and tours — not nearly as much as myth would have it. The gathering heard it was fairly small indeed.

But, clearly, the industry is here and integral to Ketchikan. It’s here for the business opportunity.

The industry’s presence makes it possible for the local merchants, some of which stay open year-long mainly because of their cruise season sales, to remain in business.

The industry and its ships prompt a lot of talk. Some of it rings true; some of it doesn’t — at least not quite.

And it’s important to sort out the differences, especially while the community is making decisions about how it envisions working with the industry to ensure Ketchikan continues to be one of the prime destination points in Southeast.

Paramount in the discussion is port accommodations and community wide access for the cruise ships’ customers.

It’s hoped KVB’s gathering proved sufficiently successful that it will become a regular event in the community.

Ketchikan benefits in every way if it has the accurate information on tourism and the cruise industry that has floated to the top of its economy.