State’s tourism campaign in 3 Indian cities has worked.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: Tourists from India seem to have found a new favorite vacation destination: Alaska.
The Anchorage tourism division, Visit Anchorage, mounted large campaigns in 2012 in key cities across India and South America, with the goal of spurring more visitors from those parts of the world to their state. The move looks like it worked, as the tourism board is reporting significant increases in the number of visitors they receive from those two regions.
Visit Anchorage credits the vast openness and quiet of Alaska as motivating factors that bring in people from Indian cities, which are loud and hugely over-populated. The organization has partnered with several local and state governments in India to promote Alaska, with campaigns still going on; the most recent was last month, from December 11-16, in Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Still, the Indian fever for Alaskan cold hasn’t caught on enough for the country to crack the list of top five tourist home countries. About 10% of visitors to Alaska come from outside the US and Canada, with the most frequent countries being Australia and New Zealand. The next country up in terms of how many tourists it sends to Alaska is the UK, following by Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and South Korea.
As a result of the influx in Indian visitors, Anchorage — the most populous city in the state – has even seen an increase in the number of Indian restaurants there are in the city. Additionally, many Indians are coming not just for sightseeing, but also for specific events, such as the annual Iditarod dog-sledding race and to see the Northern Lights.
The majority of tourist who come do so on cruises, typically from Seattle or Vancouver. The majority of tourists to Alaska, regardless of home country, take cruises to get there. In 2012, around 51% of the 1.85 million people who visited the state that year came on a cruise ship.
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