It will go to the elected representatives of each city to disperse through their existing pandemic relief programs.
Approximately 60% of all Alaska tourism is generated through cruising, which has been halted for more than a year.
In addition, as part of the recently announced BuyAlaska and Voyij.com initiative, NCLH has joined the ‘Shop Local Alaska’ program and is encouraging people to help support Alaska small businesses devastated by the halt in cruising.
'My heart breaks for Alaska and its wonderful people as we face a potential second year of zero cruise operations during the all-important summer tourism season, bringing yet another blow to Alaska’s tourism economy,' NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said.
'Alaska is one of our guests’ most popular cruise destinations and we are doing everything in our power to safely resume operations in the US, which will provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who rely on cruise tourism for their livelihoods.'
Lost revenues and jobs
Prior to the pandemic Cruise Lines International Association estimated nearly 1.4m passengers visited the region on 577 voyages in 2019. The government of Alaska estimates the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 cruise seasons would result in a devastating $3.3bn impact per season, including $2.2bn of lost revenues for local business. Estimated job losses are more than 22,000, representing over $300m of lost wages.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy thanked NCLH for its 'generous' support, adding: 'We are ready to partner with the cruise lines, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biden-Harris administration and the Canadian authorities to bring cruising back to Alaska safely this summer.'
Just two weeks ago Alaska joined Florida in suing the CDC and the US over the cruise shutdown.