Posted by: Five Star Travel & Cruises | May 9, 2011

Forum focuses on plans for SC cruise terminal

In today’s blog update a cruise port is planned for South Carolina, but there is some opposition coming from some members of the community. Some think that it will create more traffic and hurt the community. The entire story is below with the associated press reporting.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Dozens of supporters and opponents of South Carolina’s growing cruise business are expected at a public forum in Charleston to discuss the merits of the $37 million industry.

Monday night’s forum is sponsored by the Historic Charleston Foundation and will feature remarks by Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., ports officials, preservationists and urban planners.

While some see the industry as a boon to South Carolina’s economy, opponents worry large cruise ships docking on the waterfront hurt the quality of life in the historic city.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority is planning a new $25 million cruise terminal just up the Cooper River from its existing aging terminal. Residents of the neighborhood where it will be located worry it will add to traffic congestion and affect their community.

The foundation has hired a consultant to assess how plans for the terminal and nearby redevelopment may affect the quality of life for those living nearby.

Foundation executive director Kitty Robinson says the group is a good organization to lead the community in discussing such concerns. She says the group wants to maintain the architectural integrity of the historic city.

Supporters of the cruise industry plan a rally in a courtyard outside before the forum is convened.

The Monday meeting comes the night before the State Ports Authority holds the first in a series of public planning sessions to give residents a voice in the design of the new terminal.

The South Carolina Coastal Conservation League has said it wants to study the terminal project. That group has raised concerns in the past about air and water pollution from the cruise industry.

In March, local businesses that benefit from the industry joined together to form the Cruise Business Council.

South Carolina’s tourism industry means $18 billion a year for the economy and since last spring, cruise ships have been leaving year-round from the city.

Surveys of cruise passengers since that time found almost 40 percent of those surveyed were making their first visit to Charleston and nearly all said they were likely to return.

Half of the approximately 1,800 passengers surveyed said they ate in local restaurants and 30 percent said they stayed an extra night in Charleston either before or after their cruise.

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