The recently released Alaska Visitor Statistics Program VI Interim Visitor Volume Report Summer 2015 shows that the state welcomed 1.78 million out-of-state visitors between May and September 2015. This visitor volume is the highest on record since AVSP tracking began in 1985. The summer 2015 total for out-of-state visitors represents a 7 percent increase from summer 2014, growing from 1,659,600 to 1,780,000.
Most of the increase is attributable to a 13 percent increase in air volume; cruise volume also increased by 3 percent. While the highway/ferry market represents a much smaller portion of visitors, it showed the strongest growth at 14 percent. Strong increases were seen in personal vehicle traffic on all four highways connecting Alaska with Canada, more than compensating for a 12 percent decrease in visitors exiting the state by ferry. The decline in ferry volume is largely attributable to ship repair and schedule changes.
The AVSP summer 2015 report, published by the Division of Economic Development in conjunction with The McDowell Group, is available on the Division of Economic Development website at http://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/DED.
Alaska’s visitor industry is a vital component of the state’s economy, with an economic impact of $3.9 billion annually. Tourism also generates $179 million for state and local governments and employs 46,000 people during peak season.
Housed within Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the Division of Economic Development supports the growth and diversification of Alaska’s economy through business assistance, financing and promotion. The Division of Economic Development works closely with the private sector and other state agencies. For additional information about the division, visit commerce.alaska.gov/web/DED