Last year, I wrote a series for the Portland Press Herald exploring how Maine communities can balance the costs and benefits of cruise ship tourism, an issue that had already exploded into public controversies in Bar Harbor, Rockland, and several smaller ports.
One focal point was how much cruise ship passengers actually spend ashore, particularly in Portland, where the only existing study was rather a mess, probably inflating the numbers by 100 percent.
That issue came up again this month with the release of a state-sponsored study of passenger spending that found each spent not $109 to $110, but rather $61-and-change. I wrote about this in Monday’s Press Herald, with reaction from municipal officials and response from the state’s cruise industry office and the author of the previous studies in Maine. Hope you enjoy.