There isn’t anything wrong with savoring a win.
The passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act gave Ketchikan, the region and the state a taste of effective government, and the result is that large cruise ships might come soon to ports up and down Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced the bill in February, and along with co-sponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan and the House sponsor, Congressman Don Young, pushed it through with the unanimous consent of both bodies.
This is something to be applauded, and it is locally.
“This is such welcome news for our community, which has worked hard to become one of Alaska's top visitor destinations,” says Patti Mackey, CEO of Ketchikan Visitors Bureau. “It's been heartrending to hear the stories our local tourism businesses have shared as they have tried to hold on to their livelihoods. I realize we still have a way to go, but it's definitely the most hopeful news I've heard this past year. I am grateful to Senator Murkowski, along with Congressman Young and Senator Sullivan for their untiring efforts on our behalf.”
Other state leaders contributed their appreciation, as well.
“The congressional delegation was persistent, insistent, tenacious and, at times, aggressive in their pursuit of saving the Alaska tourism season,” Kati Capozzi, President and CEO of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce, says. “With the passage of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, thousands of jobs and businesses will be saved and our economy will get the shot in the arm we so desperately need.”
It was an Alaska-sized feat that delivered the tourism restoration act. It shows that when local leaders, the state administration, the cruise industry or any other industry and the Alaska congressional delegation work together on an issue, results follow — in this case quickly.
This is a recipe to be repeated for other Alaska issues near and far from Ketchikan.