Alaska’s $2.42 billion dollar tourism industry is doing well enough already, but what if it took full advantage of cannabis tourism too? Sure, recreational and medical marijuana are legal in Alaska, but the tourism industry is yet to really make the most of it.
It is going to fall on the laps of the Legislature and Marijuana Control Board to decide how Alaska plans to make the most out of the recent “green rush.”
Alaska gets in the region of two million visitors a year—its already a thriving tourist destination due to the beauty and culture. Is Alaska a cannabis destination? Is it going to be the next big player in the marijuana tourism industry? have you looked for your Alaskan holiday rental on Bud and Breakfast?
According to Sarah Leonard, the president and CEO of Alaska Travel Industry Association, her organization will not be taking a public stance on the subject of cannabis until things pan out a little more. Local regulations and such have to be laid out before any real plans can be made or predictions set.
“Tourism marketing in Anchorage, and throughout Alaska, is focused on several key messages — mountains, glaciers, wildlife and authentic culture,” says the president of Visit Anchorage, Julie Saupe.
According to Saupe, the tourism industry has some research to do before Alaska can be effectively marketed as a weed destination, and the data would need to be convincing for any of the current messages put out by the tourism industry to be changed. Saupe says that there would need to be indicators that travelers are indeed seriously interested in Alaska as a cannabis tourism destination first.
“Until then, legal marijuana will likely be enjoyed by some visitors with or without specific sales and marketing efforts.”
Brandon Emmett, of the Alaska Marijuana Control Board, thinks that for people who are on the fence about visiting Alaska, marijuana will be the thing that pushes them to make a trip. Emmett explains that Alaska is already a dream destination for anyone who loves the outdoor life, and the knowledge that a joint can be consumed after a great day exploring will be very attractive to some travelers.
If you look at what recreational cannabis legalization has done for places such as Colorado and Washington, the future for Alaska is bright. Just think, you can go and see some of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and you can take weed with you!
Just like in Colorado and Washington, smoking in public places is banned in Alaska, which is all the more reason why cannabis-friendly accommodations are the key for anyone who wants to take a pot tour stay there.