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Travel spending down 42% across the nation, but many are optimistic in Alaska

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 9:11 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While tourism is down across the nation, many are optimistic about the year’s 2021 tourism season in Alaska.

According to a report from U.S. Travel Association, travel spending dropped by 42% last year, and the industry lost over a trillion dollars in U.S. economic output overall in 2020.

Jack Bonney with Visit Anchorage says they have worked hard with businesses to make a pledge for a healthy and thriving anchorage, to help encourage tourism.

“We spend a lot of time outreaching to travel agents right now a big part of our job is teaching them what they can see and do with their client’s given COVID,” Bonney said.

Russ Reno is a travel agent downtown, who is also optimistic about this year’s travel season.

“People are still going to come to Alaska, we are going to have a good season in my opinion, it’s just going to be a different breed of tourist, those not in big groups,” Reno said. “Those not with the cruise ships, or the big traveling groups, it’s going to be more of the independent travelers.”

Bonney said with how well Alaska has been handling COVID-19 and the high vaccination rate, Alaska could be a key destination for many.

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