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Friday, July 30, 2010 - 12:05pm

Savannah Contracts Cruise Study

Updated: 4 years ago.
Savannah's leading industry is tourism and it could boost that industry by having a cruise ship terminal. But exactly how to do it and what affect it would have on the city have yet to be determined. (photo Jim Gately)

The City of Savannah has put the last bit of funding in place to study the possibility of letting cruise ships dock at city's ports.

The city has to answer a lot of questions before asking cruise ships to set up shop.

The city still hasn't answered exactly where on Savannah's waterfront cruise ships would dock or how they would affect the city's economy.

Those questions now will be answered after city council members approved $50,000 toward a cruise ship feasibility study.

Joe Marinelli of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says, it's been years since the last study and a new one is needed.

"The match seems to be there, but I think we need the experts to really take a good, hard look at it and tell us if it makes sense or not," Marinelli says. "Our world is very different today... than it was 8 or 10 years ago when the last study was conducted."

The C.V.B. and state taxpayers also are contributing to study.

It was prompted when Savannah rival Charleston started bringing in tourists through cruise ships earlier this year.

Charleston found a $1 million impact each time the ship docks, or about $70 million a year.

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