August 3, 2010


Welcome to the Alaska Travel Industry Association (AlaskaTIA) Travel News Bulletin. AlaskaTIA sends this out periodically to keep media up-to-date on Alaska tourism and travel news. Media are invited to call (800) 327-9372 or visit www.TravelAlaska.com/media for more information.

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In this August Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Announcing Alaska’s newest scenic byway
2. See caribou and a true desert all in Alaska’s Arctic
3. EpicQuest offers heliskiing with a money-back guarantee
4. New reasons to visit Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area
5. Follow Alaska yacht charters on Facebook


1. Announcing Alaska’s newest scenic byway

Take a road trip on Alaska’s newest designated state scenic byway: the Prince of Wales Island Road System. Covering nearly 300 miles, the extensive road system connects almost every community on Prince of Wales, the third largest island in the United States. Travelers can spend a few days exploring the island’s Native communities; fishing in quiet bays and rivers; and hiking in the Tongass National Forest, covering nearly the entire island. A network of nearby islands and countless coves around the island provide protected water for boaters and kayakers and the rainforest ecosystem makes the environment ideal for watching wildlife, such as bears and eagles. Prince of Wales Island is easily accessible with vehicles via the Inter-Island Ferry Authority from Ketchikan. Most visitor services are available in the communities of Craig, Klawock and Thorne Bay. To plan a road trip, visit www.alaskarainforestislands.org.

Media information
Contact: Sharon Gaiptman, Alaska's Rainforest Islands


Phone: (907) 321-0751
E-mail: gaiptman.communications@gmail.com
URL: www.alaskarainforestislands.org


2. See caribou and a true desert all in Alaska’s Arctic

One of the least-visited national parks by humans, Kobuk Valley National Park is in the migration path of half a million caribou each September, one of the largest concentrations of caribou in the world. Even more astounding, their tracks crisscross the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, a 25-square mile patch of sculpted desert located in the middle of Alaska’s Arctic. Travelers hoping to watch the herd can explore this region with fly-in canoe or kayak trips down the Kobuk River to Onion Portage, an archeological district and National Historic Landmark. Licensed operators offer various visitor services, such as air taxi and guided rafting. Trip planning services are available at the Northwest Arctic Heritage Center, which opened in late 2009 in Kotzebue. For more information about the national park, go to www.nps.gov/kova/planyourvisit/index.htm.

Media information
Contact: John Quinley, National Park Service Alaska Region
Phone: (907) 644-3512
Twitter: @NatlParkService
E-mail: john_quinley@nps.gov
URL: www.nps.gov/akso


3. EpicQuest offers heliskiing with a money-back guarantee

Bad weather won’t get heliskiers down in Girdwood this winter. EpicQuest, a luxury adventure travel operator formed from the merger of Alaska-based Chugach Powder Guides and Idaho-based Sun Valley Heli Ski Guides, is introducing a supplement package to its heliski trips that guarantees skiing or a generous refund. The Ultimate Flex Package, which can be added to most of Chugach Powder Guides’ Girdwood heliski packages for a fee from $450 to $850, allows guests to cancel a trip for any reason and receive a credit for unused portions of the package (determined by the date of cancellation). Even if a guest is already in Girdwood, and decides to leave in the middle of the trip, he will receive the credit for remaining guaranteed skiing. The package also provides lift tickets at the Alyeska Resort or reserves a snowcat seat for guests who want to ski in the backcountry on days that weather doesn’t allow for heliskiing. For more information on EpicQuest’s heliski trips with Chugach Powder Guides in Girdwood, go to www.epicquest.com.

Media information
Contact: Chris Owens, EpicQuest
Phone: (907) 336-0090

Twitter: @Epic_Quest
E-mail: chris.owens@epicquest.com

URL: www.epicquest.com


4. New reasons to visit Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area

During the summer months, travelers make their way to Eaglecrest Ski Area in Juneau for hiking, biking and a ride with Alaska Zipline Adventures. Discover Eaglecrest Day on Sept. 18, offers discounts on bicycle rentals and the zipline. But the summer season also allows for work crews to make improvements to the ski area. Come December, Eaglecrest will open a fourth chairlift, allowing easier access to beginner terrain for skiers and snowboarders. The new double chairlift, the Porcupine Chairlift will replace the current surface beginner lift and allow access to additional beginner terrain. Also an additional mile of the lower Nordic trail is being hardened to make for a more consistent skiing experience on site. The combined loops now offer more than five miles of trail. For more information, visit www.skijuneau.com, or the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.traveljuneau.com.

Media information
Contact: Elizabeth Arnett, Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau
Phone: (907) 586-1737
Twitter: @VisitJuneau
E-mail: Elizabeth.arnett@traveljuneau.com
URL: www.traveljuneau.com


5. Follow Alaska yacht charters on Facebook

Keep up to date on Alaska travel news by following these yacht charter companies on Facebook:

• Alaska Passages Adventure Cruises
• Alaska Sea Adventures
• American Safari Cruises
• All Aboard Yacht Charters
• InnerSea Discoveries