• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 43s

Episode 64: Alaska Tourism — Room to Grow

By KTVA Alaska 6:40 PM July 17, 2016

Alaska’s tourism industry experts say it appears we’re on track for another banner year. They also say the seeds for this year’s success were planted in advertising dollars spent several years ago. Their message: success doesn’t happen overnight.

Alaska has also had a boost from TV reality shows. Although the content is not always authentic, the beautiful images in the backdrop have kept Alaska on the forefront of travelers’ minds.

Social media has also helped. When visitors post images of their trips to Alaska on Facebook, this also helps to grow future tourism.

The big question now for the industry is whether the momentum can continue without continued investment in Alaska tourism, which has fallen off a cliff due to the state’s budget woes.

Gov. Bill Walker recently vetoed $3 million in spending in the state’s tourism marketing program to help offset a $4 billion budget deficit. As a result, the state’s tourism program has seen a drop over the last two years, from $16 million to $1.5 million.

In this week’s Frontiers we look at the future of tourism. Some of the highlights:

  • A trip across the bay from Homer to Halibut Cove, where Marian Beck has worked for more than three decades to turn her restaurant and art galleries into a tourism mecca.
  • Our guests this week: Kelly Bender, who co-owns Lazy Otter Charters in Whittier, and Tanya Carlson from the Alaska Travel Industry Association. They talk about how tourism dollars flow into the economy and lift the bottom line for many other businesses.

We interviewed many tourists for this week’s show, and while we Alaskans know our state is an amazing place, I was struck by how excited they were to be here. For many that we spoke with, this was their second or third trip to Alaska, or if it was their first, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream.

We hope this program gives you an appreciation for an industry that appears to have room to grow.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Petition circling to stop Mat-Su school district from outsourcing custodial, cafeteria positions

    by Sierra Starks on Mar 27, 21:00

    Faced with a $10 million budget deficit, cuts sometimes have to be made beyond the classroom, says Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) assistant superintendent Luke Fulp. As a “viable option to help reduce ongoing expenses and financial obligations,” the district is looking to outsource its custodian and nutrition service workers. In February, the MSBSD voted 4 to 3 […]

  • News

    Be ready: Expert warns to be prepared before a tsunami strikes

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 20:08

    It’s Tsunami Preparedness Week, a reminder to be ready in case a natural disaster like the 1964 earthquake and tsunamis happens again. Paul Whitmore, the director of the National Tsunami Warning Center, says the week’s events include a test of the tsunami warning system. He said in 1964, most of the victims had no warning of […]

  • Politics

    Lawmaker introduces tax on opioid prescriptions

    by Liz Raines on Mar 27, 19:45

    Last month, Gov. Bill Walker declared Alaska’s opioid epidemic a disaster. Now, a member of the Alaska House is proposing a tax on prescription drugs to help remedy the issue. Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins’ House Bill 196 raises revenue directed toward treatment and rehabilitation programs for opioid abuse. At $.01 per morphine milligram, Kreiss-Tomkins says the goal isn’t […]

  • Politics

    Senate calls for 5% education cut, balks at putting it in budget bill for public critique

    by Liz Raines on Mar 27, 19:45

    Public testimony on the Alaska Senate’s version of the state budget is closed, but Alaskans still haven’t seen cuts made to one of the biggest pieces — education. For weeks, the Republican majority has called for a 5-percent cut to the state’s four largest departments: Health and Social Services, Transportation, the University of Alaska, and […]

  • News

    Father and son look back at 1964 earthquake

    by Melissa Frey on Mar 27, 19:21

    It’s been 53 years since an earthquake changed the landscape of downtown Anchorage. It was recent enough to remember, but long enough ago to learn some important lessons along the way. In the last five decades, the scientific and engineering community has used what it’s learned from the ’64 quake to make buildings stronger and safer. The ground […]

  • Lifestyle

    Bureau of Land Management announces digital Alaska maps for outdoor excursions

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 18:51

    The Bureau of Land Management is making it easier to take maps into the backcountry. The agency launched a series of digital maps that can be downloaded to a smart phone or tablet through the Avenza Maps app. The first eight maps range from the Steese Conservation Area to the Unalakleet National Wild River. “There’s also […]

  • Politics

    Meet the candidates: District 3 – Seat E – West Anchorage

    by Daniella Rivera on Mar 27, 16:31

    KTVA invited every registered candidate running in the upcoming Anchorage municipal election to an on-camera interview at our studios to discuss the following topics: Balancing the budget Public safety Introducing new taxes Addressing homelessness in Anchorage Plans for the future We also asked each candidate to submit a 300-word biography, each of which has been […]

  • News

    Mat-Su school board president says superintendent’s resignation was for personal reasons

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 27, 16:23

    Last updated at 8:45 p.m. on Monday, March 27 The school board held an emergency meeting Monday evening to discuss the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) superintendent’s “pending immediate resignation.” Superintendent Gene Stone’s resignation was not initially announced by the district, but was outlined in a resolution considered at the emergency meeting. Stone’s resignation comes only a […]