ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Anchorage Convention and Visitor's Bureau (ACVB) released its annual tourism report to the community Thursday. In the report, there is some good news about last year and more good news for the year to come.
According to the ACVB, Anchorage experienced a summer and a year that was better than many had expected.
The ACVB says 2010 was a challenging year, but held a lot of firsts for Anchorage, including the city’s first cruise ship in 25 years.
Holland America's M.S. Amsterdam carried nearly 1,400 passengers and docked into Anchorage nine times this summer.
ACVB says two more lines will stop at the port in 2011.
The film industry also spotlighted the state as a destination.
The leisure and hospitality sector gained jobs last year. In fact, preliminary numbers show the bed tax increased more than 10 percent compared to 2009.
“That industry did become positive in 2010 and remember a big piece of that pie is eating and drinking. A lot of that has a lot to do with local consumption, not just visitors,” said economist Neal Fried.
The ACVB says despite such a good year, there are still challenges to overcome in 2011.
Any international financial instability could spill over to the U.S. and overall cruise capacity is expected to see only moderate gains this year.
“We'll work in Juneau to maintain increased marketing funding. In the past several years the entire industry worked tirelessly to communicate the need for increased statewide funding for tourism,” said ACVB President Julie Saupe.