Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development is spreading money around in the state for visitor marketing. The agency had solicited proposals from regional tourism groups with hopes of stimulating a summer visitor season, using federal COVID-19 aid. 

Ten million dollars is being allocated now but Gov. Mike Dunleavy would like to see a lot more spent, as much as $150 million. Approval by the Legislature is needed for that, however, and lawmakers are still in Juneau working on next year’s state budget.

“The COVID-Safe Travel Grant program is a competitive, multi-award, grant designed for rapid deployment of marketing campaigns to promote Alaska as a COVID-Safe travel destination for the Summer of 2021,” the department said in a June 1 announcement.

“The CSTG allows for marketing efforts to target in-state, independent, national, or international travelers and markets,” the agency said. Alaska non-profit entities were invited to apply with an application deadline of May 10, 2021. 

“We received many great proposals and are thrilled to provide this grant funding to Alaskan nonprofits to advance the efforts of promoting COVID-safe travel to and within Alaska this year,” said Julie Anderson, commissioner of the department. 

“It’s heartening to see so many nonprofits passionate about assisting their communities, small businesses, and Alaska as a whole.”

The grant proposals were assessed for quality, overall responsiveness, ability to deploy a marketing campaign no later than June 15, 2021, and regional representation, Anderson said. 

The following entities have been selected for the grant:

Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau – $170,385

Explore Fairbanks Alaska – $348,640

Discover Kodiak – $31,107

Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center – $253,489

Seward Chamber of Commerce – $179,000

Visit Anchorage – $1,630,000

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau – $527,790

Cordova Chamber of Commerce – $376,000

Koahnic Broadcast Corporation – $451,580

Alaska Travel Industry Association – $1,999,279

Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council – $410,000      

Visit Sitka, Sitka Chamber of Commerce – $235,200

Travel Juneau – $574,000

Kawerak, Inc. – $941,885

Valdez Convention and Visitors Bureau – $88,290

Spruce Root, Inc. – $1,560,000

Copper Valley Development Association – $140,000

Haines Economic Development Corporation – $83,355

 

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