FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Tourism industries have come to realize that there will be much less traffic to Alaska this summer from outsiders amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
To help combat the financial losses of fewer tourists, visitors bureau Explore Fairbanks is looking to its own residents to "Explore Local".
Through social engagement, Explore Local encourages Fairbanks residents to venture into their own backyard and support local businesses throughout the summer.
"We decided to create a campaign to encourage local residents to go out there and explore local activities, attractions and tours and hopefully that will alleviate some of the pressure on small business and local visitor industry professionals," said Amy Geiger, Communications Director of Explore Alaska.
Not only will the initiative boost the hurting tourism industry, but it will also provide locals with activities as many summer events have been canceled. Goldpanners baseball, the Midnight Sun Run and the Tanana Valley State Fair are among the staple summer activities that have been canceled.
Geiger explained that it is not just the typical tourist activities like dog mushing and visiting Denali that will need financial support this summer.
"A lot of business rely on tourism regardless on whether or not they are perceived as that," said Geiger. "Restaurants especially, and in addition breweries and distilleries and food trucks and those type of activities, all really have a big stake in the visitor industry, as well as those more obvious things like gold panning or riding on a river boat and those type of larger than life activities."
On the Explore Local homepage, there are mini-videos of local businesses encouraging the public to support. The page also features a list of activities to participate in, as well as which businesses are currently open.
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