FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Alaska Travel Industry Association held a gubernatorial forum at its annual convention and trade show in Fairbanks Tuesday. At this gubernatorial forum, the focus was on the travel industry. Last week Governor Bill Walker announced that he will commit $12 million to invest in the travel industry. One of the questions for the candidates was: How would you make investing in Alaska destination marketing a priority?
Candidate Mike Dunleavy said, "As governor, what I want to do is allow you to use that vehicle rental tax, whether it's $12 million, $14 million, $16 million, because if it keeps increasing, that means we're getting more tourists, and if we can keep capitalizing on that by advertising even more outside the state of Alaska, I think that's a good thing."
Governor Bill Walker said, "Now that we have fixed the fiscal crisis, and really fixed it so we won't ever have to visit it again, then we can have that kind of aggressive, growing marketing opportunity."
Candidate Mark Begich said, "It's not about just woe me it's a bad economy, you have to do both, you have to invest and deal with the budget, but you have to invest in the future and you guys are the future economy of this great state."
All three candidates agree that the travel industry should be invested in to help grow our economy, as evident by their answers.