(11) comments Back to story

Wayne Holt

A very thoughtful piece that reflects the ambivalence residents feel toward highly successful tourism traffic. On the one hand, it brings economic prosperity into the community. But at the same time, it can begin to seriously degrade the quality of life as day to day living feels like one is living in Disneyland.

I thank the Visitors and Convention folks, Park board, Port officials and others for their track record in getting tourists interested in Galveston in a big, big way. But I also agree with Mayor Yarbrough that the time is ripe to begin to focus on managing the throngs who are arriving here. We should be mature enough as a community to realize mindlessly chasing more and more tourism traffic is only going to make the place we call home less and less desirable.

Don Schlessinger

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Bailey Jones

I don't think fog is the answer, or making Galveston a "destination" where 5000 tourists walk off a ship and into downtown all at once. I'm not a cruiser - for me it would be like being locked up in a shopping mall for a week - but the friends I have who do cruise tend to do it over and over. What Galveston needs is attractions that make cruisers want to come early and spend a day or two on the island before their cruise.

Jim Forsythe

In the strand area have street performers, singers, magic shows , guitar players, jugglers', spray can artists, dancing groups and such.

To make this work it would require the city to determine, do they need to make the strand a walking street only and provide off site parking for those that need it.

If the strand was closed to cars, the street would be open for entertainment . Look at what Vegas does on Fremont Street, down town.

Also look at New Orleans for other things that attract people. One other city to look at would be San Antonio, always some event going on.

Also places like the Grand could bring big name acts during the daytime, to provide a reason to come early. Have a food tour, that includes many restaurant.

Bailey Jones

But no mimes!

David Collins

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Mary Lofaro

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Stephen Murphy

"No one goes there anymore; it's too crowded." - Yogi Berra

Joe Wilburn

I have always wondered if Galveston would benefit from offering a passenger train ride included in the ticket price.

The port could obtain inexpensive land in LaMarque, Dickinson or League City and offer an on time fun train ride to Galveston four or more hours ahead of ship departure. This would offer carefree luggage transfer and plenty time for shopping the Strand district.

It could also help with congestion during departure times and offer a more profitable parking scenario.

Charlotte O'rourke

An interesting editorial on ambivalence.

Success - in this case the cruise business - brings both good and bad consequences for residents.

I think the benefits and revitalization of downtown outweigh the bad, but there comes a tipping point for any type of success.

I like nature and nature and historical tourism venues. I recently took a trip to the Harper’s Ferry Historic District and park where the tourists heavily outweigh the residents. Beautiful and interesting place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

The goal is to continue making Galveston a wonderful place to visit while making it a great place to live and raise a family. Quality of life matters, and having a decent job to pay for a quality life and prepare for retirement are still the American Dream.

Robert Braeking

My wife and I visited Isla Mujeres, Mexico on our cruise aboard our sailboat Sand Dollar. The island is much like Galveston without the condos, or hospital complex, or port operations. There is a nice beach, nature center, and restaurants. It is a sleepy little town.......until the bum boats from the cruise ships arrive from Cozumel. The hordes of hurried and demanding tourists attack the shops by the thousands looking for bargains. That is when the sailors return to the anchorage. The residents who are not shop owners barricade themselves in their neighborhoods and the port captain, immigration officer, and customs officer close their doors for the duration. It is only after the bum boats have extricated the hordes can life return to normal. The trash that the tourist indiscriminately toss on the sidewalk is cleaned up. Children and their families return to the streets, and the whole atmosphere reverts to a time remembered, before the cruise ships.

BOI's take note. There is such a thing as too much. When 5,000 extra people are disgorged from a floating hotel on the Strand, it is no longer charming. Beware the thundering hordes.

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