Friday, May 24, 2013
Anchorage To See A Boost In Tourism
Officials in the tourism industry expect a million visitors to return to Anchorage this summer to spend their vacation.
Tourism in Anchorage is expected to increase 6 percent according to industry officials, but the cruise industry will remain flat.
During an Anchorage Chamber of Commerce “Make it Monday” meeting, several industry leaders gave their predictions on what the upcoming season will look like.
“It looks like it’s going to be a little bit better year than 2010, independent bookings are strong and we're seeing lots of interest,” said Dee Buchanon, with CIRI Alaska Tourism.
Officials say one of the reasons for the slight increase is the return of several cruise ships, including Holland America’s “Amsterdam” which is scheduled to dock 9 times in Anchorage over the summer.
“There is another ship that'll be coming into Anchorage, the Oceania. You’ll see the impact of that, it’s a high-end ship, what we call luxury brands,” said John Binkley, with the Alaska Cruise Association.
But even with the good news, Binkley says this year will remain flat for them across the state with only a 1 percent increase over 2010. He says ships docking in the Southeast will make a considerable difference because passengers will spend several days in Anchorage before returning to their port.
Dee Buchanon, with CIRI Alaska Tourism, said the state could also see additional independent travelers because of the interest across the world, which she says is an advantage.
“The reality shows, the presence with “Everybody Loves Whales”, what I call the Palin factor, her rise to fame has definitely brought Alaska as top of mind,” she said.