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Alaska Tourism Restoration Act passes in U.S. Senate

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The fight over having a tourism season in Alaska this summer continues on the national stage.

The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act passed the U.S. Senate yesterday.

The act, sponsored by Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, aims to allow cruise ships to travel directly from the state of Washington to Alaska.

This bypasses a Canadian ban on cruise ships of a certain size stopping at that country’s ports.

Under current U.S. law, these ships need to stop at a port in Canada on the journey between the two states.

Senator Dan Sullivan says he hopes that cruise operations will return to Alaska by mid-July, saying, “It’s so important for small businesses throughout the interior, throughout the southeast, and the thousands of workers in our tourism sector, who have really, really been hurt by this pandemic. You know, last summer, we essentially had no tourism season. We are continuing to fight to salvage some element of this year’s tourism season.”

A corresponding act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, sponsored by Congressman Don Young.

The full text of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act can be found here.

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