Selling Alaska

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Visit Anchorage offers travel planners online training to sell its destination
By Karla Nagy

In an effort to maximize their city’s tourism potential, Visit Anchorage and anchorage.net are offering an online training program designed to AWE travel and tour planners – that is, turn them into Anchorage Wild Experts.

Located in the Southcentral region of the state, Anchorage touts itself as a destination with big city amenities coupled with wild outdoor adventure. With 14 museums and cultural centers, a list of restaurants offering international cuisine from Mediterranean and pizza to Mexican and sushi and everything in between, entertainment options that include an opera company, several theater troupes and even a Hard Rock Café, along with shopping that ranges from Native crafts and locally-produced items to art galleries and malls, Anchorage provides a distinctive metropolitan experience.

Even better, the city has an array of wilderness experiences and outdoor adventures just a stone’s throw away: Dog sledding. Motorcycling and four-wheeling. Hiking and ice climbing. Trail riding on horseback. Kayaking, rafting and canoeing. Flightseeing and railroad tours. Glacier and wildlife cruises. Just to name a few.

Whether for just an hour or the entire day, tour planners have an amazing list of spectacular experiences to offer their passengers.

Alaska in general, and the Southcentral region in particular, has seen a tremendous increase in labor income and municipal revenues from tourism over the past few years. In Anchorage, one in 10 jobs is in tourism, and Visit Anchorage is working overtime to ensure the growth trend continues. In 2015, the organization trained nearly 6,000 travel agents on Alaska and Anchorage destination information.

The AWE program provides tour planners with training that includes online or live by request and FAM tours. It’s broken into three sections: AWE I: Explorer Series; AWE II: Pathfinder Series; and AWE III: Then & Now Series. The training can be completed at the planner’s own pace. Other tools include commissionable sales, digital brochures, photos and other sales support, along with sample itineraries.

For information on AWE training, visit http://www.anchorage.net/travel-trade/training/online-training/. For information on planning a tour to Anchorage, visit http://www.anchorage.net/travel-trade/about-anchorage/.