Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - The numbers from drops in tourism around the nation are staggering. A loss of $386 billion in national economic impacts and $50 billion in tax revenue head the list.
Alaska Travel Industry Association President Sarah Leonard said despite those struggles there are positive signs ahead.
She spoke at a recent luncheon sponsored by Commonwealth North.
"Its a sunny day and there is light at the end fo the tunnel. Many in our travel industry are looking to recover. Many businesses have been hit hard but I know we are going to welcome back travelers, recover our businesses, and provide wide-open spaces and safe and wonderful experiences for travelers," she added.
They've requested $2 million to market Alaska, "While this is a lean budget we are focusing our efforts on digital marketing and updating our main consumer website with customized content and safety protocol information," she said.
Leonard said she expects more interest in travel next year. She predicts independent travel to be the first to recover.
Since March every port of entry has been impacted in Alaska. 99% of cruises were canceled. The industry projected 1 million in cruise passengers in 2020.
A recent ATIA survey found 55 percent of small businesses related to the travel industry expect to never recover or take over six months to recover.
She said rapid testing capabilities will be a huge factor in the return of tourists.