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Alaska Tourism Economy: Promoting Local Tourism, Looking to the Future

As with many places in the world, tourism is a critical part of Alaska’s economy. The state is a popular tourist destination, and up to one third of visitors to the state are returning visitors who have fallen in love with its natural beauty, wilderness, and friendly culture. Many repeat visitors originally came to Alaska on cruise ships. Sightseeing, northern lights tours, hunting tours, fascinating gold rush history, and the beautiful natural wilderness are all big draws for people from around the world.

Tourism is one of the main economic development industries in the state, creating a significant number of jobs for Alaskans. In 2018, the economic impact of tourism was $4.5 billion. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the tourism industry hard as tourist travel essentially shut down around the world in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. Tourism brings a lot of money into a local economy and spawns sub-industries and businesses. This can help diversify a community's economy. But if tourism experiences a big disruptor, like COVID-19, it has a domino effect on all other industries. 

News of a vaccine brings a light at the end of the tunnel for tourism operators, but there is a long road to recovery according to Dr. Mouhcine Guettabi. Dr. Guettabi’s report predicts that tourism in Alaska will hopefully return to 85% of previous levels by the end of 2022. And the state of Alaska is stepping up to support their tourism industry. They’re driving a marketing campaign to promote Alaska that focuses on the safety aspects that tourism operators are implementing to keep visitors safe. 

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The Alaska Tourism Economy Is Working on Recovery

Like many states, Alaska has been promoting local tourism this year, encouraging Alaskans to enjoy the assets of the beautiful state without the crowds. Even so, the tourism economy is not quite the same as when millions of cruise ship passengers stop at Alaska’s port cities every year. 

The travel industry in Alaska is determined to rebound, even with inevitable changes in travel. Alaskans are resilient and have a natural entrepreneurial spirit that will help them recover this important industry.

Use the Triage BR+E™ Platform to Identify Tourism Opportunities

If tourism is a big industry in your region, it's still going to be an important industry in the future. As tourism starts to rebuild and grow again, it will be helpful for you to assess the overall landscape for the industry. Tools like Triage BR+E™ can help you identify the tourism companies in your region that are seeing success, and the ones that are struggling. With this information you can identify opportunities to better support business owners, new opportunities for the industry, and ideas for expansion. 

Sustainable tourism is becoming more and more popular; this might be a good time to look at how your local operators can highlight their sustainability goals and plans, and how your community can benefit from tourism dollars while still taking care of your local environment.

Tourism operators in your region may need a lot of support in the coming months and years as they recover from the impact of COVID-19. It's worth investing the time in your community to help the industry flourish again in the future. 

Forge a New Direction for Tourism with Triage BR+E™

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References: 

https://www.akrdc.org/tourism

https://pubs.iseralaska.org/media/9493104e-6d1f-4c4b-be19-e97bf5e8734f/COVID_and_the_Alaska_economy.pdf

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2020/06/11/alaskas-tourism-economy-needs-your-support/ 

https://www.kinyradio.com/news/news-of-the-north/travel-industry-vows-to-rebound/ 

https://pubs.iseralaska.org/media/9493104e-6d1f-4c4b-be19-e97bf5e8734f/COVID_and_the_Alaska_economy.pdf

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2020/06/11/alaskas-tourism-economy-needs-your-support/ 

https://www.kinyradio.com/news/news-of-the-north/travel-industry-vows-to-rebound/ 

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