Steady as she goes
August 24, 2014
The number of tourists in 2014 has been steady in most jurisdictions.
- Alaska expects 970,000 cruise ship visitors in 2014—about 1/2 of the state’s 2 million person visitor total. Tourism generates $4 billion for the Alaska economy and creates 42,000 peak season jobs.
- Icelandair is continuing seasonal service to Anchorage from Reykjavik that started in 2013 and Yakutia Airlines is doing the same with flights from Eastern Russia. Delta has also increased its flights from the West Coast to Anchorage this year. Interior businesses tied to winter tourism are reporting more and more international visitors from nontraditional markets like Taiwan, Australia and China.
- YTD tourism stats are yet not available for 2014 for the Canadian north. A federal employment report for July 2014 for notes that “Year-over-year, Yukon is the only territory to record an increase in employment. Growth is entirely attributed to increases in the services-producing sector, with the number of people employed in the sector increasing 2.4% to 17,000. Indeed, several industries posted notable gains: transportation and warehousing (+10%); finance, insurance, real estate and leasing (+43%); and professional, scientific and technical services (+56%).” Overall, tourism revenue totalled $114 million in 2012, accounting for about 4.5% of the territory’s total GDP.
- In the NWT “...year-over-year, the number of people employed in the territory declined substantially by 6.5% or 1,500. The unemployment rate also increased 2.3 percentage points to 9.6% year-over-year. It must be said that tourism is far less significant in the NWT than in Alaska or Yukon. NWT has been hit hard by forest fires this year. Tourism contributed $106.7 million to NWT GDP in 2013, up 6% from the previous year. The industry was boosted by visitors coming to see the Northern lights (the Aurora sector), the number of which doubled to 16,000.
- According to the report ‘Tunngasaiji: A Tourism Strategy for Nunavummiut’, revenue from Nunavut’s tourism industry reached $40 million and represented 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product) in 2011.Return to footnote 4 Employment in licensed tourism establishments, such as lodges and outfitters, stood at about 1,250 full-time positions, bringing in over $15 million in wages on the year.
- For many years the exact number of tourists visiting the World’s biggest Island, Greenland, has been unknown. A new initiative by Visit Greenland and the Ministry of Industry in collaboration with the Greenland Airports and Statistics Greenland will now for the first time ever provide these crucial numbers. From the Summer of 2014 all international departing passengers from Greenland will be asked about their Country of Residence. So stats for 2014 are not available, but they are being collected. Tourism to Greenland is already on the rise. Recent figures from the tourist board show the number of cruise passengers doubled to 30,000 between 2004 and 2010, while the number of land-based tourists stood at 35,000 in 2010.
The peak in cruise ship passengers to Alaska reached a record peak of cruise visitors in 2008, when 1,032,074. This year’s expected 970,000 total is still about 6% shy of the record, but better than 2010-12.
Air traffic is bringing more people to the north in all jurisdictions. Iqaluit’s new airport should help stimulate air traffic when it opens in late 2017.