Great Lakes cruise experts recently visited Buffalo, New York to discuss the economic impact of a possible new port to host cruise ships.
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp is conducting a feasibility study to determine the best location for a future cruise ship facility, according to local media reports.
The organisation ‘Cruise The Great Lakes’ said that cruise ships had brought almost 150,000 people to Great Lakes cities, such as Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Toronto, last year.
Visit Buffalo Niagara hosted the annual meeting of Great Lakes USA. David Naftzger, President and CEO of the Council of Great Lakes, reportedly said that Niagara Falls would be an attraction.
He was also quoted as saying, “I think some of the attractions that they would be particularly interested in are the industrial history. People love to go see old factories, grain silos, you know? Why was the cereal-making industry here? Why are there wineries that are so close?”
Patrick Kaler (pictured), President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, hosted several people from the industry, showing them around the region and discussing the possibilities of joining the cruise industry.
“We’ve already even started some of the groundwork in our communications with the cruise companies because once the port is open and ready to go, we also need to have our infrastructure in place,” Kaler explained.
He said that Buffalo could become a new port for cruise ships, accommodating between 200 to 500 pax, within the next three years.
There are currently 11 ships that are involved in Great Lakes cruising. Buffalo would need to build a cruise terminal, Welcome Centre thus ensuring the ships have a place to berth, local officials said.