KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska city of Ketchikan has welcomed more than 1 million cruise ship visitors in a single season for the first time.
The millionth visitor was honored Monday, the Ketchikan Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2xKuGxG ). Cany Borda of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was presented a custom sash by John Binkley, president of Cruise Line International Association Alaska.
But for Binkley, 1 million visitors is just the beginning for Ketchikan. Binkley said the growth in the city’s cruise industry is exciting and he looks forward to increases in the coming years.
“So what’s the outlook for 2018 and beyond?” Binkley asked. “We already know pretty closely what 2018 is going to be and it is going to break another record. . It will surpass 2017 as a record year.”
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Between 2017 and 2026, about 97 new cruise ships will be built, based on Cruise Line International Association estimates, Binkley said. That is a total investment of $53 billion, he said.
“The future is so bright, I gotta wear shades,” Binkley said.
Binkley said on average, visitors to Ketchikan who come by way of cruise ships typically spend $159 while in town.
Ketchikan’s population is about 13,000, but that figure can more than double on certain days during the cruise season.
Information from: Ketchikan (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.ketchikandailynews.com