ALASKA'S TOURISM INDUSTRY
BACKGROUND  •  FACTS  •  LINKS
SOURCES  •  COMMENTS

tourismBACKGROUND

Alaska is truly different and unique. It has more mountains, glaciers, and wildlife than just about anywhere else in the world. Alaska is an ever popular destination with more people than ever visiting the 49th state. In fact, visitation records have been set year-after-year with an estimated 2,026,300 visitors traveling to Alaska between May and September 2018. 

More than half of all visitors coming to Alaska arrive by cruise ship. In 2018, 1,169,000 traveled by cruise ship, 760,100 were air visitors, and 97,200 were high/ferry visitors.

There are thousands of businesses that depend on the passengers coming to Alaska to take their tours, dine in their restaurants, and stay in their guest rooms. Visitors benefit a multitude of Alaskans in different ways.

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FACTS & ECONOMIC IMPACT

  • More than 2.26 million visitors are expected to travel to Alaska, spending money on tours as well as public land permits, campgrounds, hotel stays, rental cars, food, laundry services, airline tickets, gifts, equipment   and more.

  •  Summer 2018 visitor volume represented an increase of five percent (100,000 visitors) from summer 2017. Most of the increase is attributed to the cruise market, which grew by 7 percent (79,300 visitors). The air market increased by one percent (9,600 visitors), while the highway/ferry market increased by 13 percent (11,100 visitors). In terms of market share, cruise passengers increased their percentage from 57 to 58 percent of all visitors.

  •  More than $126 million in state revenues and $88 million in municipal revenues are generated by Alaska’s visitor industry through a variety of taxes and other fees, helping to fund services benefitting residents and communities.

  •  More than $1.4 billion in payroll was created by tourism business employment, for an economic impact of $4.5 billion in 2018.

  •  One in ten jobs in Alaska are in the tourism industry, creating an important part of Alaska’s employment picture.

  •  Approximately $2.2 billion of visitor spending in Alaska helps support large and small tourism businesses.

  •  One in three Alaska visitors are repeat travelers to the state. Many of those who return are independent travelers who first came to Alaska on a cruise ship.

  •  Alaska’s tourism industry invests heavily in the state, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on capital expenditures, construction, operating equipment, marketing, and contributions to non-profit organizations.

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 WEB LINKS

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SOURCES

  • Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development 
  • Alaska Travel Industry Association
  • North West & Canada Cruise Association
  • McDowell Group

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