Protest aimed at cruise crowds - Oceana USA
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March 16, 2004

Protest aimed at cruise crowds

BY: Dawn

Good story from Keys News covering a protest in Key West against the huge expansion of the cruise business in that city:

Somewhere around a hundred city residents — estimating was challenging, at best — hopped into their cars and onto their bicycles for a leisurely trip down the city’s busiest street. Some locals just strolled down the sidewalk.

They hoped to make a statement with their presence: The city needs to better control the number of cruise ships during the busiest time of the year. They wanted to show that they shouldn’t have to avoid their own streets, because the city can’t control the number of tourists on the island, said Elliot Baron, who organized the protest…

“There are way too many cruise ships coming to town,” said resident Sue Pfeffle, who rode her bike with four friends down Duval Street. “They are not paying their way. We don’t get enough benefit from them.” …

Critics complain that cruise ships tax the resources of the small town and add congestion to an already overcrowded island. They believe only a small number of businesses benefit, and that the crowds drive away land-based tourists who stay longer and spend more money.