• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

Episode 67: Discovering Alaska

By KTVA Alaska 11:24 AM August 8, 2016

In a few weeks, those leviathan RV’s will no longer cause traffic bottlenecks on the Seward Highway. As we approach Labor Day business will begin to taper off in the shops, which cater to tourists – and Alaskans will breathe a collective sigh of relief, glad to have their money, but also glad to see them gone.

In a few months, we’ll find out whether the “Summer of 2016” lived up to predictions that it would be a banner tourism year. Industry experts say this season’s numbers will be a predictor of future visits because from each crop of tourists, we see a lot of repeat business.

So in a way, tourism is the gift that keeps on giving. As long as visitors feel there’s something new to discover in our state, it stokes their desire to return.

This week on Frontiers, we look at some of the efforts, big and small, that keep them coming.

Here are some of the highlights:

-We take you to Kodiak, where efforts are underway to grow the tourism industry across the entire island. The demand for new destinations is there, but some communities are not so sure they’d like to see strangers wandering past their homes on a regular basis.

-Our guest this week is Laurel Downing Bill, author of the “Aunt Phil’s Trunk” historical series. Every summer weekend, you’ll find her at the downtown Anchorage market in her cheerful booth, festooned with antique lace and a backdrop of period pieces. Her mission? To sell her books. But in the process, she and other writers at the market also serve as unofficial tourism ambassadors. In this Frontiers web extra, watch this extended interview with Laurel Downing Bill.

-We will also go behind the scenes at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center’s bear viewing exhibit, a popular segment we ran earlier this summer. For visitors with a limited number of days in Alaska, the chances of seeing a bear – up close and personal – are pretty good.

When it comes down to it, I suspect a lot of growth that we see in tourism, comes down to the beauty of our state and the authenticity of Alaskans.

When visitors take home a Dan Seavey book about the first Iditarod, signed by the mushing legend himself, it’s a reminder that Alaska is still a mother lode of larger- than-life characters and the birthplace of many great adventures.

Latest Stories

  • Sports

    Native Youth Olympics highlight culture, camaraderie for competitors

    by Heather Hintze on Apr 27, 20:21

    For athletes at the 2017 Native Youth Olympics (NYO), the games are all about culture and community. “My favorite part about NYO is the camaraderie between everyone,” said Allie Ivanoff, a sophomore in Unalakleet. “You can go up to a person and they’ll coach you if you need it. Everything is about sportsmanship in this […]

  • Politics

    Wasilla representative casts lone no vote on bill honoring Alaska’s Hmong veterans

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:07

    A state lawmaker known for going against the grain on votes with racial undercurrents sparked controversy Thursday. Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) was the lone vote against a bill in the Alaska House to honor Hmong veterans who supported the United States in the Vietnam War. Eastman also voted against a bill honoring black soldiers earlier […]

  • Politics

    Eastman calls for reprimand after LeDoux blocks committee debate

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 19:38

    There are more signs of friction in Juneau this week. The latest example came between two fellow Republicans in the House, when a seemingly non-controversial committee meeting became anything but. It ended with one lawmaker calling for a reprimand of the House Rules Committee chair, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage). Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) is calling […]

  • News

    State fire investigator takes stand on Day 5 of Sockeye Fire trial

    by Shannon Ballard on Apr 27, 19:15

    Memories of the 2015 Sockeye Fire were reignited Thursday, five days into the state’s case against the Anchorage couple accused of starting the destructive blaze — Greg Imig and Amy DeWitt. In recorded interviews, Imig repeatedly told fire investigators there was no way the more than 7,000 acre wildfire could have started on his property, but state […]

  • News

    Trump to sign order aimed at expanding offshore drilling

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 17:11

    President Donald Trump will sign an executive order Friday that could lead to the future expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. The order will direct his interior secretary to review a plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling. It’s Trump’s latest effort to dismantle his predecessor’s environmental legacy and […]

  • On-Air

    Reality check w/ John Tracy: Grading Trump’s first 100 days in office

    by John Tracy on Apr 27, 16:57

    The press is fixated this week on grading Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The grade depends on exactly what you’re grading the president on. First, by objective standards, the president has signed 28 bills into law — far more than his two predecessors, and more than Bill Clinton. He’s also signed more executive […]

  • Anchorage police make 2 DUI arrests at same location

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 27, 16:35

    Police arrested two separate motorists on DUI charges at an Anchorage gas station early Sunday morning. The first driver, 33-year-old Duane Nash, was pulled over for speeding on Minnesota Drive shortly before 4 a.m., according to a release from the Anchorage Police Department. After he pulled into a gas station parking lot on Spenard Road, police noticed […]

  • News

    Latest: Tillerson says China asked North Korea to stop nuke tests

    by Associated Press on Apr 27, 16:06

    The Latest on tensions on the Korean Peninsula (all times local): 6:35 p.m. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says China has asked North Korea to conduct no further nuclear tests. Tillerson says China also told the U.S. that it had informed North Korea “that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be […]