To the Editor:
I was concerned about the pictures from Testa’s in last week’s Islander accompanying the story about the citizens’ petition to limit cruise ship passengers.
Besides missing basic information like the time each was taken, it was not pointed out that the empty room on May 25 was on a preseason Wednesday and the fuller room on May 28 was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. There is no evidence cruise ships had anything to do with the difference.
Last year provided an opportunity to understand more about the effect of cruise ships on all businesses. Why are we not being provided with data on the difference between 2019 sales at stores and restaurants and 2021 sales – a year without many cruise ships that allowed the people who usually avoid it to visit Bar Harbor?
It does not make any difference how much business comes from cruise passengers if the stores and restaurants would be full without them. The current difference between cruise days and other days may simply be that everyone avoids Bar Harbor all the time now not knowing the cruise schedule by heart. We should be seeing data from last year.
It’s unfortunate that so much of the discussion on real issues such as campgrounds, housing and ships is based only on cherry-picked examples and emotion. No one seems to be looking at the available data, which, even if limited, might help find actual solutions to these problems.