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Swine flu scares people to SB

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PostSubject: Swine flu scares people to SB   Tue May 05, 2009 3:26 am

Star Princess visits Santa Barbara

Swine Flu Scares Tourists into Santa Barbara

City Plays Sudden Host to Two Cruise Ships over the Weekend

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tourist season will get a jump start this weekend as two Princess
Cruise Ships have scheduled last-minute stops in Santa Barbara in the
interests of avoiding their intended destinations in the Mexican
Riviera. The decision to change their itineraries came in response to a
recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that all
nonessential travel to Mexico be avoided as a result of concern about
swine flu infection.

Approximately 5,000 passengers will be spilling from the two ships over the course of the weekend, some from the Sapphire Princess today, May 2, and the rest from the Star Princess on Sunday, May 3. A third ship will be stopping in Santa Barbara on May 10, as part of its regularly scheduled itinerary.

Star Princess visits Santa Barbara

While Santa Barbara is accustomed to hosting one or two such ships
per year, the short notice preceding this weekend’s visit has caused
the usual preparations to become rushed. Each ship arrives at 7 a.m.
and departs at 6 p.m. The Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown
Organization have coordinated with the Waterfront Department in
readying tables, pamphlets, and volunteers to welcome this small boom
of tourists.

Downtown business is also preparing itself for this windfall, as the
cruise industry estimates that the average visiting couple from a
vacation ship spends approximately $200 in one port of call. While this
is expected to provide a welcome economic boost, Chamber of Commerce
President Steve Cushman pointed out that the extra tourists wouldn’t
necessarily mean an uncomfortably crowded downtown: The average weekend
in Santa Barbara during tourist season sees roughly 40,000 visitors.

Star Princess visits Santa Barbara
Money is not always the only deposit made by these visitors into the
Santa Barbara area, however. The ships will anchor a mile offshore, as
the Santa Barbara Harbor does not have the facilities to accommodate
cruise liners. This has given rise to concerns among some environmental
groups regarding the waste such boats leave behind in Santa Barbara
waters. The Waterfront Department’s Harbor Operations Manager Mick
Kronman assured that all such visiting ships agree not to dump any
waste within 12 miles of the coast, and that similar restrictions exist
within up to six miles from the Channel Islands.

Nevertheless, said Santa Barbara Channelkeeper Executive Director
Kira Redmond, restrictions have been overlooked in the past by cruise
ships. Consequently, cruise ships visiting Santa Barbara are regularly
monitored by Channelkeeper staff, who circle the ships testing the
bacteria levels in the water. “We go out there to let them know there
are watchdog groups … who are concerned about the potential for
pollution,” Redmond said.

Star Princess leaves Santa Barbara

The fear of pandemic has precipitated this increase in Santa Barbara
cruise traffic, with three ships visiting from May 2 to the 13 — a
substantial rise considering that only nine such ships have visited the
South Coast since 2002, according to the Santa Barbara Waterfront
Department. Even with the short notice, the Waterfront Department, the
Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Organization have worked with
other groups in the city to land these big fish, and to bring in needed
money scared away from Mexico.
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Age : Join date : 2008-12-31 Posts : 82 Location :

PostSubject: Re: Swine flu scares people to SB   Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:08 pm

Great article, that ship is huge Smile
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