According to KSKA (via APRN), President Barack Obama has appointed an Alaskan to the National Tourism Advisory Board, a 32-member panel tasked with stimulating tourism to the U.S. as a way to increase job-growth.
The Alaskan named to the panel, Alaska Wildland Adventures CEO Kirk Hoessle, was nominated by Sen. Mark Begich.
Hoessle said the relatively small size of his Girdwood-based adventure travel business put him on his heels initially, "I felt a little bit outta place at first cause we’re such a tiny company. I knew that there are…were leaders of some very large companies that were usually involved with this sort of thing, but it was very encouraging. It appears that the secretary of commerce went out of his way to make sure that there were lots of viewpoints represented.”
Hoessle says he hopes to contribute to the panel what he's learned about operating his business in a low-impact manner in order to meet a growing desire among travelers.
Hoessle also said that in addressing the board in Orlando, Fla., last week, the President discussed his plans to streamline the tourist visa process to further encourage international visitors.
Hoessle said Alaska has been seeing an increase in international visitors, even from countries the state doesn't market itself in, and hopes the trend will continue growing.
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