Anchorage, Alaska – Jan. 17, 2013 – A year of growth, and record year for bed tax: that’s the best way to summarize 2012 for tourism in Anchorage. Visit Anchorage President and CEO Julie Saupe detailed 2012 accomplishments for Anchorage tourism and looked ahead to 2013 at the annual “Report to the Community” at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center on Jan. 17, 2013.
Visit Anchorage anticipates bed tax collections for 2012 will total over $22.5 million, the best returns in the city’s history. Bed tax collections surpassed the record of $22.2 million set in 2008. Finalized bed tax numbers won’t be available until in mid-February, but the 2012 estimated total would also be a 6 percent improvement over 2011.
“We’ve marshaled our resources to take full advantage of the rebound in the national economy, ensure travelers learn about Anchorage early in their decision-making process and bring their business to Alaska,” said Saupe.
Saupe highlighted many of Visit Anchorage’s 2012 accomplishments, including:
· More than $104 million in conventions held in 2012
· Approximately 145,000 visitors served in Anchorage’s visitor information centers
· Editorial placements in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe
· New marketing efforts focused on Brazil, Iceland and India
· More than 1 million visitors to Anchorage.net, the official source for Anchorage travel information
The outlook for 2013 is good as well, with expectations that both domestic and international visitation will be up. The organization also printed 400,000 copies of the 2013 visitors guide – the most in at least a decade – to meet anticipated needs for direct mailing campaigns and visitor demand. In the year ahead, Saupe noted an expected increase in cruise ship capacity of Alaska, as well as new airlift from Icelandair, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines for summer 2013. Visit Anchorage is also planning to increase marketing efforts in continental Europe, the UK and Scandinavian countries.
The Visit Anchorage’s mission is to attract and serve visitors to the Municipality of Anchorage while building and diversifying the Anchorage economy. Visit Anchorage’s marketing functions are funded by one-third of the bed tax collected by lodging facilities. One-third goes to the Municipality’s general fund, and one-third to service the bond debt and operations of the Anchorage Convention Centers. Visit Anchorage receives no state or federal funds. Visit www.Anchorage.net for more information.