This year saw another record summer for passenger travel at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. According to airport officials, it was the second consecutive record broken, seeing an additional 76,000 passengers, or 2.5% more than the summer 2018.


Julie Saupe, president/CEO of Visit Anchorage, said the additional travelers could have had a positive impact on local businesses.

“[Visit Anchorage] can make some assumptions looking at the hotel numbers this year," Saupe said. "We’re very confident that a significant portion of that increase was our leisure travelers coming into Anchorage for 3 or 4 nights and spending some money in our town.”

Visit Anchorage looks at hotel availability as a barometer of tourism success. Saupe pointed to more flight opportunities in and out of Anchorage as another gauge of a productive summer.

“The really good news for Anchorage is that those leisure travelers will spend $700 to $1,000 in Anchorage," she stated. "They’ll spend about 3 nights on average, and so that money goes from restaurants to retail to the tour operators. It’s spread well in our community.”

More flights means more seats to fill. Saupe says many local organizations come together to ensure plane seats are booked.

“[We fill the seats] by a very coordinated marketing program and promotion of Anchorage, and we work with a lot of travel advisors, tour operators, the industry here," explained Saupe. "But it’s advertising, it’s working with travel journalists. It’s getting media out there. And it’s also making sure that we’re providing a good product so that we get that great word-of-mouth customer experience. That’s all part if it.”

She said her organization also works closely with the airport and airlines as well.

Saupe says early indicators point to another successful summer season in 2020, but ultimately time will tell.

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