Alaska expects more visitors when US reopens land border with Canada next month

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 8:17 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska can expect to see more visitors starting Nov. 8 as the U.S. reopens its land borders to traffic for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

“We expect there to be a large convoy of visitors coming from the Yukon the minute that border opens,” said Skagway Mayor Andrew Cremata. “We’re excited to see them here in Skagway.”

Skagway is still adding up how many visitors it had during the shortened cruise ship season. Cremata put the estimated number at around 75,000. Visitors are advised things will be a bit different.

“We had a lot of things open during the summer that are now closed. A lot of restaurants and businesses,” said Cremata. “But we still have businesses open here that...restaurants, a couple of bars and things people go to.”

The announcement regarding the border is also good news for others in the tourism industry.

“Seven percent of our visitors actually come from Canada. That’s another way to look at the border reopening,” said Visit Anchorage President and CEO Julie Saupe. “It’s not only allowing domestic U.S. visitors to travel through Canada to get here, it’s allowing those Canadians to also visit Alaska.”

A McDowell Group for the Alaska Travel Industry Association that focused on the state’s tourism industry reported how much each visitor spent on average during their stay.

“We expect about $950-$1,100 left in the state,” Saupe said. “Every single visitor is important to us. Especially now as we come out of this pandemic.”

Alaska is about to reopen its doors to its neighbors to the east.

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