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Alaska Attracts Record Numbers of Tourists

A record number of tourists visited Alaska last year, according to a detailed report that has been published by the Alaska Division of Economic Development.

It states that 1.96 million out-of-state visitors came to the country during May 2013 to April this year, besting the previous best year of 2007-2008 by over 5,000 people.

This is the third consecutive year in a row that Alaska’s visitors numbers have risen, with this period being up a solid 12% on the same period of time last year.

The state report credit’s the booming cruise industry to ports such as Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Skagway – all of which boast beautiful attractions unvisited by previous tourists and cruise passengers. Ships have been returning to Alaska and placing more Alaskan ports on their itineraries in a bid to win over travellers. The cruise lines also have newer ships, which allows them to place routes to places that haven’t always been that popular in the past.

Commerce Commissioner Susan Bell said: “A reduction in the cruise passenger head tax has made a positive difference, with ships returning to Alaska and new vessels entering the market. For example, Holland America increased its presence in Alaska with more departures and more guests than in 2012. Celebrity Cruises also expanded capacity by sending one of its new Solstice Class ships to Alaska for the first time.”

Air passenger volume to Alaska is also up, with the airlines JetBlye, United and Delta all added a significant amount of further flights over the last year.

Virgin America have also recently launched flights to Anchorage and the increased competition in flight prices is resulting in many tourists getting a bargain flight.

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