Wed., May 18, 2011 4:34pm (EDT)

Study: Cruises Could Bring 1,000 Jobs
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 3 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
A cruise ship terminal in Savannah could bring in new spending and revenue.  But the investment would be significant and an interim terminal might be necessary.  Those are some of the findings in a cost-benefit study on cruise ships in Savannah.  (photo Jim Gateley)
A cruise ship terminal in Savannah could bring in new spending and revenue. But the investment would be significant and an interim terminal might be necessary. Those are some of the findings in a cost-benefit study on cruise ships in Savannah. (photo Jim Gateley)
Georgia could reap $89 million in direct spending and create a thousand new jobs if Savannah builds a cruise ship terminal.

That's one finding of a long-term cost-benefit study.

A Miami-based consulting firm prepared the report.

It shows if the city builds an $18 million cruise terminal, the investment could bring 288 jobs within four years.

In another five years, the pay-off jumps to 1,000 jobs if the city builds and even larger terminal at the city's famed historic waterfront.

Consultant Charles Towsley says, the idea right now is to start off with a terminal at the Georgia Ports Authority.

"It's interim in the sense that it could get Savannah into the market quicker to prove its viability," Towsley says. "The interim terminal could get the port into business much quicker in that the existing wharf and structure are there and they have been utilized by commercial traffic and would be usable immediately."

However, the port site raises some security and operational concerns.

It's also a bustling industrial area miles from where tourists want to be.

The long-term site could cost $50 million.

The terminal could be paid for in part with tax breaks Governor Nathan Deal recently signed into law.