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German visitors dock in the Port City

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A big group of German tourists came to town today. They arrived for the second year in a row on the Aida Aura cruise ship, and that means an economic boost for the Wilmington area.

“It’s a very nice place here, very nice people,” said Martan Selbelbergan, a German visitor.

It may have not been Chamber of Commerce weather along the Cape Fear River Monday, but the dock at the State Port of Wilmington was a welcome sight for passengers of the Aida Aura.

“Wilmington is known to the German guests as the third famous movie city is the U.S. right behind California and New York,” said Sebastian Scheuberuteiner, cruise ship club director.

Monday, more than a thousand passengers and crewmembers stepped off the luxury cruise liner, and took Wilmington by storm. They filed onto tour busses, taxis and bikes to explore our city for the second year in a row.

Florian Alfelvach was excited to practice his golf swing at Magnolia Greens in Leland. “We’ve been told that it’s a really good course; it is 27 holes, and it would be really nice, and I would love to see it today.”

Aside from hitting the links, the rest of the passengers planned on eating and shopping at restaurants and businesses.

According to an international cruise ship study, each passenger is expected to spend a little more than $100 a day, at various ports.

For small businesses struggling to get by, the visit from Germany is a much-needed economic boost.

“The total economic impact could be upwards of $450,000, which is a welcomed addition to our local economy,” said Connie Nelson of the Visitors Bureau.

Wilmington is one of the first stops on the Aida Aura’s trip to the U.S., and if the passengers enjoy our city as much as they did last year, the cruise company hopes to bring a different German ship back next year.

The crew and passengers took extra germ-fighting precautions to ward off the H1N1 virus; as everyone filed on and off the ship, they were encouraged to use hand sanitizer.

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Story summary

videoA big group of German tourists came to town today. They arrived for the second year in a row on the Aida Aura cruise ship, and that means an economic boost for the Wilmington area.

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