Alaska visitor industry to host summit on tourism downturn


Businesses and political leaders from Alaska will comment on the state of the tourism industry, give a prognosis for the future, explore possibilities for increased tourism-marketing funding, scrutinize Alaska’s regulatory and tax environment, and brainstorm ways to attract more visitors at The Southeast Alaska Tourism Summit on Thursday, August 20 from 1:30-5:00 pm at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage.

Alaska tourism organizations, Governor Sean Parnell, and other industry and community leaders will convene to determine next steps for Alaska’s visitor industry. The event is free and open to the public. A similar event held last month in Juneau, attracted more than 200 attendees.

The summit, co-sponsored by the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Alaska Travel Industry Association, and other organizations, will discuss the challenging situation faced by Alaska’s visitor industry from the effects of the global recession and a reduction in cruise deployments, among other factors.

“We’re very concerned about how this summer will shake out, and we won’t be out of the woods next summer either,” said Ron Peck, president and COO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. “We’re inviting residents and businesses to have a voice in this important discussion and hear from industry and community leaders as we put our heads together and try to come up with some answers.”

The discussion will be moderated by former KTUU anchor John Tracy. Panelists will include Stan Stephens of Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises in Valdez; Rick Erickson of Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska; Susan Bell of the Juneau-based research firm The McDowell Group; Julie Saupe, president and CEO of the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau; Deb Hickok, president and CEO of the Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Peck of the Alaska Travel Industry Association.

Event registration and additional details are available at