On Jan. 13, Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas and I met with Gov. Sonny Perdue to discuss the need for a cruise ship port in the city of Savannah . The proposal for a cruise ship port has received support from Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, City Manager Michael Brown, Chatham County officials, the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Savannah Chamber of Commerce. Financial backing from the state would mean vested entities could move forward with plans to create a feasibility study to determine the costs and benefits associated with locating a cruise ship terminal in Savannah .
Gov. Perdue has called on Georgians to be innovative leaders. He challenged lawmakers to make viable solutions for and with our constituents, and I have responded with this proposal. This is not a partisan issue or even a Savannah issue. This is a chance for economic development and to build a better Georgia . This small investment in our state’s future will mean millions of dollars in state revenue and certain economic growth.
More than 9 million Georgians must choose to travel to states such as Alabama , Florida , Texas , South Carolina and Louisiana in order to take a cruise. As they take advantage of this opportunity across state lines, they take with them hardearned money and millions of dollars in economic growth. It is imperative that we keep these tourism dollars in our own back yard and establish a source of additional revenue for Georgia .