Foreign travel to Alaska is projected to increase in 2011 and beyond, and CIRI Alaska Tourism Corp. (CATC) is expanding its international presence to capture a larger share of the market. In January, CATC staff traveled to German-speaking Europe to meet with tour operators, media representatives and to talk with travelers at consumer-oriented events. German-speaking Europe is a key market that shows potential for immediate international travel growth.
“With additional inbound flights to Alaska from Europe and solid, growing relationships with operators, we are excited about the growth potential of this international market,” said Paul Landis, CATC chief operating officer.
Condor, a German airline, will begin flying several flights each week between Anchorage and Frankfurt starting May 7. Edelweiss Airlines, based in Zurich, Switzerland, will also be operating flights this summer between Anchorage and Zurich. To help funnel Internet traffic to CATC, a new web page in German was launched in January.
Outreach to Latin America has also yielded growth opportunities. The combined international marketing trips have led to contracts for rooms at both the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and Seward Windsong Lodge, and reserved seats on Kenai Fjords Tours and Prince William Sound Glacier Cruises, CATC’s marine day-cruise operations.
CATC is Alaska’s largest locally owned visitor services company. It helps travelers experience the best of Alaska, including national parks, wildlife and glaciers. CATC is a wholly owned CIRI subsidiary and a certified Minority Business Enterprise. Learn more about CATC at www.ciritourism.com.