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The Passenger Vessel Services Act and America’s Cruise Tourism Industry


  • James Mak

    () (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Christopher Sheehey

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)

  • Shannon Toriki

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa)


The Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) of 1886, a cabotage law, attempts to shield U.S. maritime shipping from foreign competition. It also applies to the U.S. cruise ship industry. The PVSA requires foreign cruise ships that carry passengers between U.S. ports to also stop at foreign ports. Norwegian Cruise Line America (NCLA), which operates one U.S. flagged cruise ship in Hawaii, wants the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require foreign cruise ships offering Hawaii itineraries from the U.S. west coast to spend more time in foreign ports. We analyze the merits of NCLA’s proposal. We argue that rather than making the PVSA even more protectionist, the law should be repealed.

Suggested Citation

  • James Mak & Christopher Sheehey & Shannon Toriki, 2009. "The Passenger Vessel Services Act and America’s Cruise Tourism Industry," Working Papers 200917, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:200917

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clifford Winston, 1998. "U.S. Industry Adjustment to Economic Deregulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 89-110, Summer.
    2. repec:reg:rpubli:234 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Passenger Vessel Services Act; PVSA; Norwegian Cruise Lines; NCLA; Protectionism; Cruise industry;

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