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Missing its cruise business, Mobile clamors for US change

'Mobile’s economic sustainability has been weakened from the loss of direct and indirect cruise ship employment,' Mayor Sandy Stimpson said
Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson called on the US to lift the conditional sailing order, stating the loss of cruising to Alabama has had a 'severe and detrimental impact' to Mobile's economy and the small businesses that are supported by it.

The Port of Mobile is home to Alabama's only cruise ship terminal, which was handling more than 200,000 passengers annually prior to last year’s cruise shutdown.

More than $12m impact

'These passengers translate directly to the generation of gross expenditures from hotel rooms, restaurants, local attractions and local retail totaling over $12 million,' Stimpson said.

'Additionally, Mobile’s economic sustainability has been weakened from the loss of direct and indirect cruise ship employment. The terminal directly employs 206 full/part time employees. In addition, other employment comes in the form of trucking/transportation, food /beverage suppliers, security, fuel/water suppliers, taxis/Uber/Lyft, Mobile Bay Bar Pilots, tugboat operators and Carnival support and logistics personnel,' the mayor continued.

Ready to resume

'Should President Biden support a phased approach to reopening US ports to cruise ships, I am confident the Alabama Cruise Ship Terminal will successfully meet this challenge,' Stimpson said, adding that the terminal staff are already familiar with established safety and health best practices.

'They are ideally equipped and can quickly establish protocols to mitigate the introduction and spread of the coronavirus,' he said. 'Additionally, based on the close relationships with the local medical community, testing facilities and health department, Mobile and its terminal are optimally supported and positioned for success.'