Gains Made for Tourism in 2013, More Growth Predicted in 2014
Anchorage, Alaska – Jan. 16, 2014 – Last year was a growth year for Anchorage tourism and 2014 appears set for more gains as well. Visit Anchorage President and CEO Julie Saupe detailed accomplishments for Anchorage tourism and looked ahead at the organization’s annual “Report to the Community” at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center on Jan. 16, 2014.
Saupe detailed work done to train travel trade on Southcentral Alaska, help tour operators develop more Alaska product, make the case with meeting planners for Anchorage as a convention location, and connect with consumers as they make their travel plans. Among the highlights:
- Visit Anchorage met with more than 1,000,000 people through travel agent training and appearances at consumer travel shows in 2013.
- The number of copies of the Official Guide to Anchorage increased to 450,000 to meet increased demand. Almost half will be sent to potential visitors prior to travel through direct mail campaigns.
- The Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention returns to Anchorage in October 2014. The meeting dovetails with a national group, the National Indian Education Association meeting, which convenes a week prior to AFN.
Among positive indicators for travel: the city’s 2013 bed tax collections are expected to reach $23.5 million dollars. Finalized figures will not be available until mid-February, however that estimate puts 2013 among the best years – perhaps even the best – for collection in the city’s history. The bed tax is split three ways: one third contributes to the municipality’s general fund, one third services the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers and one third goes to Visit Anchorage’s marketing efforts on behalf of the city.
Saupe predicted a year of modest growth in the industry locally for 2014, and highlighted positive trends nationally, including the growth of international travel to the United States. Travel exports outpaced many other U.S. industries in 2013 and are poised for more growth in 2014.
The Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.