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Campbell Attends Cruise3sixty Conference

(June 4, 2010, Vancouver, B. C.) - In an effort to continue Governor Sean Parnell's focus on promoting Alaska tourism, Lieutenant Governor Craig E. Campbell traveled to Vancouver to attend the Cruise3sixty conference held June 2-6. The travel conference is an annual gathering of more than 1,400 travel agents and cruise ship officials from across the world. Alaska is being featured as a destination and participants are able to tour the Alaska cruise fleet at Canada Place.

"In Alaska, we are truly excited about the future of our visitor industry," the lieutenant governor said. "We have made a commitment to not only make Alaska more affordable for visitors and industry by reducing taxes and fees, but we are investing in ways that will revitalize the industry and provide greater opportunity for Alaskans. The tourism sector is a critical component of Alaska's economy. With so many jobs and small businesses at stake, we must aggressively advocate for bringing more tourist dollars to our shores to grow our economy and fuel Alaska family incomes."

According to a recent economic impact analysis commissioned by the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the visitor industry accounted for $3.4 billion in direct and indirect spending in Alaska and more than 40,000 jobs during peak employment. The industry also provided direct payments to state and local governments exceeding $208 million, with nearly $140 million in State of Alaska revenues.

But after decades of growth in the tourism sector, Alaska is now seeing a significant decrease in cruise ship passengers. This year, the state is losing more than 140,000 cruisers and $150 million in direct and indirect spending with its businesses.

"We appreciate Lt. Gov. Campbell's efforts to market Alaska as a cruise destination," said Curtis Thayer, who oversees the Office of Economic Development in his role as deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. "It is important that we take advantage of any marketing opportunity that will bear fruit in the form of economic stability for communities and jobs for Alaskans."

Reversing the decline in visitor travel has been a focus of the Parnell administration this year. Governor Parnell led a delegation of state officials and private-sector tourism advocates to another industry trade show in Miami earlier this year, where they met with cruise executives. Additionally, Governor Parnell supported a $7 million funding increase for tourism marketing, and also advocated passage of Senate Bill 312, which right-sized the cruise ship head tax.

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