Game Board's Predator-Control Decision will Hurt Small Businesses
Letters to the
Editor / Anchorage Daily News / November 9, 2003
Even before the Board of Game's announcement in favor of aerial wolf hunting,
the issue has attracted national media attention and negative publicity for
Alaska. Now, a statewide tourism boycott seems inevitable, and hundreds of thousands
of people may decide against visiting Alaska in 2004.
The last two seasons have seen little to no growth in bookings for the small
and mid-sized wilderness-dependent businesses represented by the Alaska Wilderness
Recreation and Tourism Association. Our member businesses are guide companies,
air-taxi services, back-country lodges and other Alaska-owned businesses that
provide the classic Alaska visitor experience tourists dream about. At a time
when Alaska is trying to strengthen local economies and promote its image as
a wild and natural state, the Board of Game's decision -- and the indiscriminate
boycott it may spur -- is not the kind of advertising our visitor industry needs.
Gov. Murkowski campaigned on a pro-business platform, and wilderness-dependent
tourism businesses represent a significant potential growth industry. Instead
of decisions that threaten this future, what Alaskans really need from the state
is more funding for coordinated tourism marketing, tourism planning and partnerships
among all sectors of the tourism industry.
-- Anne E. Gore / Executive Director, AWRTA Anchorage
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