April typically brings a brief lull between the community's signature events in March and the full stride of a summer season. Still, the spring made modest year over year gains across many metrics for travel and tourism, and set the stage for the upcoming summer.

Anchorage Lodging

April continued a string of gains year over year in occupancy. Hotel occupancy was 65.0%, an increase of 0.2% from the same month last year and bringing the YTD occupancy to 60.9%. Both hotel supply and demand increased in April 2024 from the same time last year at 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. Monthly hotel revenue as reported by STR improved as well, up 9% compared to April of 2023.

It may be challenging to continue setting records for growth in hotel performance next month. 2023 was the best ever May for hotel demand. While advance booking data suggests good returns in May 2024, it may not equal last year's high-water mark for hotels.

Short term rentals saw similar returns in April, with occupancy improving and ADR increasing when compared to the same month last year.


Spring preparations also mean hiring for many seasonal positions in the industry. Anecdotally, the frantic hiring market of 2021 and 2022 has cooled, however finding enough staff and finding them locally remains a challenge for tourism, as it does for other sectors of Anchorage's economy.

Statewide employment in leisure and hospitality grew slightly in April compared to last year, adding just 200 jobs across the state in the sector according to information from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Federal data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Q4 2023 highlights a long-term trend of increasing wages paid in the sector locally. According to BLS, while total employment in the sector in Anchorage is down 6% compared to highs in 2019, wages in leisure and hospitality have increased 20%. While federal data on leisure and hospitality jobs often serves as a stand-in for tourism jobs, it's important to note that pilots, drivers, and office staff are categorized in other industries, ones that saw even bigger growth in wages.

A Milestone for Conventions

The Egan Civic & Convention Center also marked 40 years in operation. In the next few years, the Egan will host meetings and events worth more than $6 million and counting in direct economic spending in the broader community.

Meetings are one way the community sees benefits from visitation year-round, and meetings and events in Anchorage often fill the community outside of summer.