Mike Dunleavy of Governor of Alaska conveyed that Covid-19 vaccines would be made available at key airports in the state starting June 1, in unveiling plans aimed at bolstering the state’s pandemic-battered tourist industry.He as a Republican, outlined plans for a national marketing campaign aimed at luring tourists using federal aid money and vaccine offering is “probably another good reason to come to the state of Alaska in the summer”.
Dunleavy and other state leaders have been pushing to allow large cruise ships to return to Alaska after Covid-19 restrictions kept them away last year, hitting hard businesses and communities, particularly in southeast Alaska, that rely heavily on summer tourism.
The state plans to offer vaccines at airports in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan, with the clinics outside the security area.About 40% of those eligible for a vaccine in Alaska, who are 16 or older, are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department, and health officials have been looking for new ways to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
The vaccination program is part of a broader effort to encourage Alaska tourism. Other parts of the effort include a multi million-dollar tourism advertising campaign and a request for $150 million in economic relief for tourism-related businesses.The relief program would require approval from the Alaska Legislature. The advertising campaign would use already-authorized money, according to information provided by the governor’s office.
In a typical year, most Alaska tourists arrive in the state by cruise ship. Because of COVID-19, large cruise ships have been halted for a second consecutive summer.With no large ships bound for the state and overland travel blocked by Canadian quarantine rules, various organizations and corporations have been encouraging independent travelers to fly to the state instead.