Travel Tuesday: As summer turns to fall, Anchorage welcomes different visitors
As the seasons shift, we reflect on memories made over the summer. We also look ahead to the crisp air and beautiful colors that fall ushers in.
That's the theme of this week's Travel Tuesday, as Visit Anchorage CEO/President Julie Saupe summarized how the summer tourism season turned out, and what to expect this fall.
While there are still a few weeks of the summer season remaining and no final numbers are in, Saupe says tourism performed well for the Anchorage community in 2019.
"What we've seen over the last several months is some record-breaking weeks for our hoteliers and that translates in to great business for our attractions, our retail, our dining, all of that," Saupe explained.
Saupe added, "Hotel revenue will translate to bed tax and that's a good indicator of what will be contributed to our city coffers and also what we'll have for future marketing."
With a strong demand for overnight stays, numbers for summer 2019 are projected to be quite positive according to Visit Anchorage. Looking past the numbers, the summer provided nice weather and some neat events.
"We started off this season with the national veterans team [for the Golden Age Games] and this is a thousand vets coming up to compete in our city," Saupe stated.
"And then we ended the season in August with a computing convention," added Saupe. "What was fun to watch about this one is the estimated attendance of about a thousand people. In the end they brought 3,000 people to Anchorage."
The general perception is that when summer starts to die down, so does the tourism industry. Saupe says that isn't necessarily the case.
"Part of what we do is to try to manage the destination year-round and make sure that we're getting winter visitors as well. We really have a lot of other great conventions coming up this fall, so we're happy to be switching in to convention season," said Saupe.
Saupe says fall is actually the busiest time of year for employees with Visit Anchorage.
"We're setting all of the marketing programs, we're starting direct sales, working with group travel organizers, setting everything for next summer," Saupe explained, as marketing for Alaska's largest city ramps up.
Looking ahead to 2020? Saupe is optimistic.
"I don't think we're going to see huge growth, only because this summer was so fantastic, but I do think we're gonna see growth," she stated. "We've got some new airlines, we've got Alaska Airlines providing some new city routes."
Visit Anchorage has three locations to serve tourism needs. The Log Cabin Visit Anchorage Information Center is located downtown on Fourth Avenue and F Street. There are also information centers located in the South and North Terminals at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
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