Port creates cruise lobby 

Business owners called in to argue tourism appeal

Environmentalists and preservationists are calling for more local oversight of cruise waste and peninsula neighborhoods are still sour about the cruise-related traffic. So, it's not surprising that the State Ports Authority is shoring up the one real strength of Charleston's burgeoning cruise industry: the all-mighty dollar.

Last week, the ports authority launched a new Cruise Business Council that is expected to lobby for the cruise industry among local businesses. The council leadership includes John Keener of the Charleston Crab House and Roper St. Francis Healthcare CEO David Dunlap.

The SPA also launched an interactive map on the website, unionpierplan.com, that shows businesses that have seen cruise passengers, based on 1,800 cruise surveys. It will surprise no one that Hyman's is on the list.

Survey results found that 40 percent of passengers were visiting Charleston for the first time and 97 percent said they're likely to come back. Our guess is that the other three percent never left the ship.


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