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Title: Recreation and tourism in south-central Alaska: synthesis of recent trends and prospects.

Author: Brooks, David J.; Haynes, Richard W.;

Date: 2001

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-511. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 19 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Tourism has been the fastest growing component of Alaska’s economy for the past decade and is an important export sector for the regional economy. Opportunities to participate in outdoor recreation are also an important component of the quality of life for residents of Alaska. Successful planning for the Chugach National Forest therefore will require an understanding of (1) recreation and tourism as an economic sector, (2) factors contributing to growth in recreational activity in south-central Alaska, and (3) prospective future levels and types of demand for recreation. By using a sectoral analysis framework, various data sources reveal similar trends and patterns of activity. Recreation demand models, based on cross-sectional data, illustrate the importance of demographic and economic factors as determinants of demand. Implications for management and planning include the need to understand whether and when management actions to increase the recreation services on forested landscapes conflict with other management objectives, such as maintaining or enhancing wildlife habitat.

Recreation and tourism in south-central Alaska likely will continue to grow, although future growth rates may be slower than those in the early 1990s. Although the demographic and economic characteristics of the population of Anchorage are similar to those of the lower 48, patterns of recreation (activities and frequency) differ across residents and nonresidents. Based on both recreation demand models and key respondent interviews, the fastest growth in demand likely will be in viewing wildlife and scenery and in “soft-adventure” activities that offer a combination of comfort and outdoor recreation-based excitement. The increasing importance of recreation and tourism presents challenges for communities as well as resource managers in Alaska.

Keywords: Alaska, Chugach National Forest, recreation, tourism, growth trends

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Brooks, David J.; Haynes, Richard W. 2001. Recreation and tourism in south-central Alaska: synthesis of recent trends and prospects. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-511. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 19 p.

 


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