Alaska tourism continues to grow, although
the rate of growth is slower now than during the 1980s and '90s,
according to Ron Peck, the Alaska Travel Industry Association's
president and COO.
Peck said Alaska is
experiencing tourism growth between 1% and 3% year-over-year,
whereas in the '80s and '90s the state saw double-digit growth in
Still, the 2007
summer tourism season was strong, with the number of tourists who
came by cruise ship, land and air expected to be up 3% compared
with summer 2006, Peck said.
for visitors traveling to Alaska by highway show an increase of
about 9% so far this year compared with 2006, while the number of
air travelers remained steady, Peck said.
the majority of visitors to Alaska come by cruise ship, with the
total number of cruise passengers visiting Alaska up four-fold
since 1990, when 235,000 came to the state by ship.
As the number of
cruise ship passengers rises, their demographics are also changing,
According to the
Alaska Visitors Statistics Program, cruise passengers over the last
decade are getting younger. The average age of a cruise visitor in
1993 was 55 years old, compared with 53 years in 2006.
In addition, more
international travelers are cruising to Alaska.
In 1993, just 5% of
all cruise passengers were from outside the U.S., but last year 11%
of cruise passengers were classified as international
contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].