Local News

Tour industry, visitor bureaus to meet in Sitka

Cruise-ship tourists view Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier from a sand bar. The glacier is one of the most popular stops in the capital city.

Cruise-ship tourists view Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier from a sand bar. The glacier is one of the most popular stops in the capital city. (CoastAlaska News)

Leaders of Alaska’s visitors’ industry will gather in Sitka Oct. 7-10.

More than 400 excursion operators, tourism managers and cruise officials are expected to attend the Alaska Travel Industry Association’s conference.

Sarah Leonard is president of the ATIA.

“It’s the annual time where our industry partners and managers gather to learn about trends and projections and network and get excited for the next season,” she says.

The conference offers business, marketing and public relations sessions for those in the industry.

International tourism consultant Lenwood Sloan is a keynote speaker. Leonard says he will address what’s called heritage tourism.

“He’s going to be talking about how communities can weave those characteristics into their destination and help highlight their destinations around cultural tourism,” she says.

Click here for the tourism conference agenda.

Leonard says Alaska’s visitors’ industry is slowly growing, bringing about 1.8 million people to the state. Close to one million tourists cruise the coast, while others arrive by plane, car or RV.

The travel industry association does not have numbers for this year yet. But she says tour operators have told her it was a good summer.

Leonard is optimistic about the 2014 season.

“We see, hopefully, increases in international visitation through some new services like the state’s partnership with Iceland Air and bringing that new air service to Alaska. So we’re very excited about that,” she says.

She says government and private advertising campaigns are increasing interest in the state. She says Alaska “reality” TV shows are also helping spread the word.

 

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Simpson and Hayes: Airing cultural assumptions without conflict

Writers Sherry Simpson and Ernestine Hayes discuss cultural assumptions in Alaskan literature in two venues: a stage presentation 7 PM Mon Sep 22 at the Sheetka Kwan Naa Kahidi, and in a hands-on writing workshop 6-9 PM Tue Sep 23 at the Yaw Chapel. Both events are free. For complete information, visit the Island Institute online. In collaboration with the 49 Alaska Writing Center. more

Peek-a-boo

moose
Like this moose in the woods,  many website users (well, most actually) freeze in their tracks hoping not to be seen during our fund drives. No need for camouflage though, we only ask you to consider a membership level that is comfortable for you. Please contribute right now...we'd love to see more of you! Thanks to Richard Nelson of Encountersnorth.org for the photo. You can see more here! more