South Padre Island seeks to become cruise destination

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas (KVEO) — South Padre Island, known as the hidden jewel of Texas, has an off season during October through April, which happens to be the peak of cruise season.

“We’re conducting a feasibility study. It’s the first step in a multi-step process to explore the possibility of bringing cruise ships to South Padre Island,” said Mayor Dennis Stahl.

With increasing concerns of over-tourism in some Caribbean ports, cruise lines are looking at different options, and South Padre Island, a popular tourist destination during Spring Break, is trying to get their attention.

“There are four big cruise operators operating out of Galveston, we will be at the SEATrade Global Conference in early March, to meet with many of the executives from those cruise ships,” Stahl said.

South Padre Island’s goal is to one day be a world-class tourism destination in order to help businesses during the slow season.

“The number one complaint I receive from people is ‘please help us during the off season,’” he said.

The Island would be a Port of Call and not a home port. The city is working with Cameron County to consider opportunities to dock, including Isla Blanca Park.

“We’re not sure yet if it’s a go or no go, so we don’t want to go well into advance of planning everything and realize that the cruise ships are either not interested or it doesn’t make economic sense,” Stahl said.

Lots of study and exploration remains ahead, and this is just the first step to balance the busy spring break and summer season. The initial stage of the project is expected to take four months to complete.

On Nov. 28, the city approved of $100,000 funding to complete the necessary preparations in order to sell SPI to the cruise line industry.

The city said estimated annual economic impact to South Padre Island is $20 million.

For more information visit http://townspi.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=3299&meta_id=83505

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