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Tourist continue to flock to Alaska, but there is a growing concern from the industry

By Rebecca Palsha / KTUU | Posted: Thu 5:35 PM, Jan 19, 2017

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – After a year of less than exciting economic news in Alaska, including a multi-billion dollar budget deficit, there is what’s being called a bright spot: tourism.

Cold in Midtown Anchorage-looking east – Bill Cross 1-18-17

Visit Anchorage says that visitor spending was $1.94 billion, which has a trickle down effect to state government.

“Visitors also leave a lot of money in communities and in the state government treasury,” said Visit Anchorage CEO Julie Saupe. “About $105 million goes to state government in visitors fees, things like landing fees, out of state fishing licenses type of funds. Here locally visitors leave about $25 million in bed taxes.”

According to a recent report, the total employment related to Alaska’s visitor industry during 2014-2015 is estimated at 39,700 full and part time jobs, including all direct, indirect impacts.

During a luncheon on Thursday, Saupe told the crowd that, despite expectations that this summer will be another great year for the industry, she has concerns.

“We see new challenges,” Saupe said, “they’ll require novel solutions as we see shifting trends in visitation.”

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