Last summer set a record for the number of visitors to Alaska.

Alaska Dispatch News:   Author: Annie Zak:

Last summer set a record for the number of visitors to Alaska.

More than 1.8 million people visited Alaska from May through September of 2016, “the highest visitor volume on record” for that period since such estimates began in 1985, according to a new report put together by consulting firm the McDowell Group for the Alaska Travel Industry Association and the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

That reflects a 4 percent bump in the number of visitors to Alaska compared to summer 2015. Compared to 2007, last year saw about 8 percent more travelers from Outside.

People also spent about 4 percent more money on their trips than they did in 2015, the report said, at an average of about $1,057 per person. Visitor spending, not counting the cost of getting to and from destinations, came in at $1.97 billion last summer, up 31 percent from five years prior.

Sarah Leonard, president of ATIA, points to marketing campaigns in recent years as one of the reasons for growth.

“I think there are other things we can’t always control that are happening around the world that impact visitation,” she said, noting a strong dollar and low fuel prices, “but I think marketing your destination works.”




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