Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Fri October 07 2016

Did Alaska Have a Record-Breaking Summer?

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | October 07, 2016

Did Alaska Have a Record-Breaking Summer?

PHOTO: Glacier hiking in Alaska (photo courtesy Thinkstock) 

At its annual convention, the Alaska Travel Industry Association announced that it may have broken the 2 million visitor mark over the summer season. 

According to KTUU in Anchorage, “ATIA says the numbers are preliminary. When finalized ATIA says the state could break its record set just last year.”

Regardless, the successful summer season added more than $4 billion to the economy.

Once again, cruise ships are one of the major economic drivers during the tourism season. 

“More than one million people visited the state onboard a cruise ship. Leonard tells KTUU. "we are a safe and attractive and once-in-a-lifetime destination and so we hope that that cruise traffic grows."

While this is excellent news for those in the tourism industry in Alaska, the state still faces major economic woes. 

“With the state facing a major budget deficit, the legislature has slashed its share of marketing funds for the tourism industry to $1.5-million,” reports KTTU. 

 READ MORE: Why Fall Might Be The Best Time To Visit Alaska  

With the tourism industry's own contribution, Alaska has just $7 million to $8 million to market itself as a tourist destination next year, John Binkley, president of Cruise Lines International Association Alaska, tells KTTU.

For more on how Alaska plans to overcome this budget shortfall, read on here

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