The extension of the “no-sail" order in Canadian waters is likely to have large, negative implications for Alaska visitation in the coming summer. For Anchorage, cruise makes up around 40-50 percent of overnight leisure visitation in a typical summer season. It’s a significant piece of the visitor economy for many businesses, for Anchorage and for Southcentral Alaska as a whole. The return of cruise was an area of concern before the February 4 announcement; Visit Anchorage is engaged with industry and political leaders and will continue to work to a solution in light of this development.
Focusing on independent travel will be highest priority in the near term as the return of cruise is farther off and even more uncertain in light of the Feb. 4 announcement. Attracting independent travelers to Anchorage, and convincing them to stay and explore longer is going to be more important than ever. Apart from Canada’s recent announcement, we know a strong return of leisure and meetings travel are contingent on an effective global and national response to COVID. It is and will continue to be the biggest factor in turning a desire to travel to Alaska into actual visitation.
Our aim has always been to maximize the benefits – economic and beyond – of travel and tourism for our community. Visit Anchorage will continue to advocate for solutions at the federal level given Canada’s announcement, supporting cruise lines as they work to return to Alaska. We continue to support our travel community, local businesses, and workers employed in the industry.