Murkowski supports tourism

Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tourism is very important to the state of Alaska and to the economy of the Kenai Peninsula. While it tends to be summer oriented, statewide more than 37,000 people are employed in it, and in excess of a billion dollars is realized.

Lisa Murkowski has an outstanding record of working to support tourism at both the state and local level. She obtained funding to improve the visitor facilities at Denali National Park and won passage of legislation to allow the Alaska Railroad to increase train service to that destination. She also obtained funding to improve Brooks Camp, the headquarters for the Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Closer to home she helped create the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area to highlight the history of the Kenai Peninsula. This designation authorizes the National Park Service to promote the historic route from Seward to Girdwood including parts of the Iditarod Historic Trail near Hope as a tourist destination.

Lisa currently serves as an honorary host for the Junior Classic, a one day mid-August event each year for close to 160 children. They participate in aquatic education games and learn about boating safety while also fishing the Kenai River.

While tough economic times have limited tourism's growth, she has expressed an interest in tapping additional markets through improved marketing, spreading visitors out across the state to prevent overcrowding and helping more parts of Alaska benefit, and expand on the potential for winter tourism.

Joe Connors, Sterling

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