On Februaruty 5th Continental, Delta and US Airways announced that each airline would be supplying more flights to Alaska during the 2010 summer season. The new flights will be non stop from Chicago, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland and Philadelphia into the major cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.
Many people in the Alaskan tourism industry are hopeful these new flights will increase visitors to Alaska through increased travel availability, but also that the rise in ticket numbers will decrease ticket prices, spurring even more visitors to take advantage of the cheaper fees.
What does this mean for industry? The Alaskan tourism industry better step up its communication and PR for its upcoming season.Utilize those cheap tickets as a way to promote and advertise your business, Alaska tourism, and traveling to The Last Frontier. Furthermore, Alaskan cruises better beware. The decease in flight prices may cause more people to opt for flying to Alaska rather than boarding a cruise ship for their vacation. I would advise a communication and advertisement plan that highlights the benefits of cruising to Alaska versus flying.
Either way cheaper ticket prices could lead to more people flying to Alaska for the prime tourist season this summer. Which industries and businesses will fair the best will depend on their ability to communicate and market themselves to tourists. There is a lot to see in Alaska and the tourism industry should take advantage of knowing that more travelers will be arriving by flight this season.
Different communication and planning may be needed as less tourist experience Alaska via cruises. Cruises offer a water experiencing approach to seeing Alaska, while flying will allow most tourists to experience Alaska by land. Fliers may tend to be more independent travelers, planning their own vacation activities, compared to cruise travels who have a very specific travel plan scheduled for them by the cruises companies.
The rise in less tied down travelers could really boost other aspects of the tourism industry that cruises have overshadowed. However, there are concerns that the Alaskan tourism industry may expect overall lower visitor numbers due to two cruise ships dropping their summer trips to Alaska. Hopefully Alaskan tourists take advantage of the cheaper flight tickets as a way to explore Alaska.
As an Alaska I promise there is still plenty to see and do if you decide to visit Alaska by other means than a cruise, but should you have time and money to do both, you will have seen it all!