As the tourism season fast approaches, a look back at the 2013 season shows the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s recovery from a drop in tourism due to the recession.
According to the Kenai Peninsula Tourism Council’s Director Shannon Hamrick, the 2009 and 2010 tourism seasons were hit hard by the recession.
Hamrick: “Most of Alaska was insulated from the recession, it wasn’t hit as hard, but the toursim industry was unique in that everybody down south that was being hit with the recession quit travelling.”
Hamrick added that 2013′s numbers show a complete recovery.
Hamrick: “Our numbers have exceeded the 2008 second and third quarter sales tax, so we had a record sales tax year in 2013 for the second and third quarters.”
She said the previous sales tax record in 2008 equaled $636 million and 2013 eclipsed that with $643 million. That record was an increase of over $20 million in 2012 during the same time period.