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Paula Deen Magazine Shoot a Highlight of Additional Tourism Marketing Funds


ANCHORAGE – TV and magazine personality Paula Deen visited Alaska in August for a lengthy feature in her magazine, Cooking with Paula Deen, that will highlight Alaska travel and wild Alaska seafood in early 2011.

The Alaska Travel Industry Association invited Paula Deen and coordinated her visit to several locations in Southeast and Southcentral Alaska, including Juneau, Hoonah, Tutka Bay, Girdwood and Anchorage. The association worked closely with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to include Alaska seafood in the magazine, highlighting coastal communities, restaurants and Alaska chefs.

The outreach to Cooking with Paula Deen is one part of an increased tourism marketing effort funded through the efforts of Gov. Sean Parnell and the Alaska Legislature. ATIA received an additional $7 million in funds in the last Legislative session to address a decline in tourism following the worldwide economic crash in 2008.

“We’re thrilled to have Paula Deen in Alaska to feature our travel and culinary opportunities to entice potential visitors,” said Ron Peck, ATIA’s president and COO. “This magazine feature is just a small part of what we, as an association, are able to do with this additional marketing money to help draw visitors to Alaska.”

The association will dedicate the majority of the additional funds to television advertising, substantially increasing Alaska’s presence on seven national cable networks to generate large-scale awareness of travel opportunities in Alaska.

“ATIA is extremely grateful that the legislature and the governor heard our urgent appeal for more marketing and saw fit to allocate this additional funding,” Peck said. “Members of Alaska’s travel industry statewide will benefit directly when more potential visitors are exposed to Alaska’s message and book a trip to our state.”

Alaska’s national television advertising budget will go from $1.22 million in FY10 to $6.11 million in FY11. The remainder of the additional funding will go to augment existing programs including print advertising, research, website development, public relations, outreach to travel agents and industry trade, international marketing and printing Alaska travel materials.

The funding request came after industry officials watched visitation drop in 2009 in the wake of the worldwide economic crisis. ATIA members from across the state appealed to lawmakers to fund an increased marketing effort to help reach more potential visitors and hopefully reverse the trend of declining visitation.

ATIA is a non-profit, membership-based organization made up of all facets of Alaska’s visitor industry and represents over 1,100 large and small travel-related businesses. The association serves as the voice of Alaska’s tourism industry and maintains the TravelAlaska.com website for visitors interested in the state.

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