September 2, 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.

Want even more Alaska travel news, deals and tips?
Follow Alaska Travel News on Twitter @alaskatravlnews and on Facebook.


In this September Travel News Bulletin you will find:

1. Greenbelt Project improves Mat-Su trails
2. Rescued Alaska sea otter heads for the big city
3. New Segway tour offers greener option for exploring Fairbanks
4. Inside Passage ferry terminals get an upgrade
5. Follow #Alaska travel experts


1. Greenbelt Project improves Mat-Su trails

This year, the Mat-Su Valley launched the Matanuska Greenbelt Project, tying together more than 100 miles of trails in the Matanuska Valley, located just 35 miles north of Anchorage. Built across ridges and depressions formed by glaciers, the wide and well-maintained trails offer varying levels of difficulty, and, with the new improvements, will boast increased signage, trail grooming and more. Additional backcountry terrain can be found in the outlying areas of the Mat-Su Valley. Nancy Lake State Recreational area in Willow offers nearly 40 miles of maintained trails over forested hills and open swamps; the Crevasse Moraine Trail in Wasilla is a moderate-to-difficult trail network across glacier-formed ridges; and in Talkeetna, a 10-kilometer loop runs through historic downtown. For visitors who are interested in more than Nordic skiing, many of the trails are also open to hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or ATV riding and snowmobiling. For more information, visit www.alaskavisit.com.

Media information
Contact: Casey Ressler, Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau 


Phone: (907) 746-5037
Twitter: @VisitMatSu
E-mail: casey@alaskavisit.com

URL: www.AlaskaVisit.com


2. Rescued Alaska sea otter heads for the big city

After months of rehabilitation, Tazo, the orphaned sea otter pup who has earned the adoration of nearly 3,000 Facebook followers, is off to his new home at the New York Aquarium. After he was found slightly dehydrated in early June in Homer, Tazo received around-the-clock care at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, gaining more than 12 pounds on a diet of otter formula, clams and squid. After he was cleared from quarantine, Tazo hopped an overnight cargo flight to his new home in the Big Apple. The Alaska SeaLife Center is Alaska’s only public aquarium and is the only facility authorized to rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals and seabirds. This fall, travelers can experience marine life at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer as the SeaLife Center takes its show on the road. Fairgoers can stop by and meet with the center’s staff, view exhibits and experience a live touch tank. For more information, visit www.alaskasealife.org.

Media information
Contact: Lexie Mizeras, Alaska SeaLife Center
Phone: (907) 644-6717
Twitter: @AlaskaSeaLife

E-mail: lexiem@alaskasealife.org
URL: www.alaskasealife.org


3. New Segway tour offers greener option for exploring Fairbanks

A new eco tour is whizzing around downtown Fairbanks. EcoSeg Alaska opened in June, offering tours of Fairbanks aboard the Segway Personal Transporter. The Earth-friendly option offers travelers a chance to explore a lot of ground with virtually no carbon footprint. While most tours are focused on exploring downtown, the eight Segways are fitted with all-terrain tires, allowing them to cruise off road without damaging the landscape. Riding a Segway requires some balance and offers a surprising amount of exercise, yet the quirky devices are easy to operate for travelers of any age. Tours leave twice daily — beginning with a short training session — and offer routes of varying lengths, from the 1.5-hour Downtown Snapshot tour to the 2.5-hour Chena Riverfront or Segway Experience tours. For more information, visit http://ecosegalaska.com.

Media information
Contact: Trina Jeannet, EcoSeg Alaska
Phone: (907) 328-3557

Twitter: @EcoSegAlaska
E-mail: ecosegak@gmail.com
URL: http://ecosegalaska.com


4. Inside Passage ferry terminals get an upgrade

Visitors will start to notice substantial upgrades to the ferry terminals in several communities along Alaska’s Inside Passage. One project will bring regular ferry service to Gustavus for the first time in years. Located 50 miles northwest of Juneau, Gustavus is know as the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, offering visitor services and accommodations to travelers wishing to explore the surrounding wilderness. The new dock will add Gustavus as a stop along the Alaska Marine Highway System and provide regular passenger and ferry service from Juneau beginning in late fall 2010. The terminals in the villages of Hoonah and Angoon are also scheduled for improvements over the next two years. The upgrades made in Angoon will allow for the introduction of fast ferries at this port. For more information on the Alaska Marine Highway System, visit www.ferryalaska.com.

Media information
Contact: Danielle Adkins, Alaska Marine Highway System

Phone: (907) 228-6836

E-mail: danielle.adkins@alaska.gov

URL: www.ferryalaska.com


5. Follow #Alaska travel experts

Keep up to date on Alaska travel news by following these Alaska travel experts on Facebook or Twitter:

• Alaska.org - @AlaskaTravel
• Great Alaskan TourSaver - @alaskatravelgrm
• Plan it Alaska - @Plan_It_Alaska
• The Alaska Travel Experts
• Alaska Travel Service
• Alaska HDTV - @akhdtv
• Alaska Luxury Vacations - @AlaskaLuxTravel