Considering the area, Alaska is the largest state of United States and in the same time the biggest piece of American Arctic. It is located in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, bordering Canada in the east and the Arctic Ocean in the North. Across the Bering Strait, Alaska shares the border with Russian Federation and from the southern part it is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean.
Tourism is one of the state´s top industries in terms of both private and public sector. The government´s research shows that with regards to the residents ´employment, the tourism sector creates more than 20 thousand direct jobs and close to $447.9 million in personal income. The tourism industry also creates employment opportunities for non – residents, which in the past few years reached close to 25%.
Similarly to other remote Arctic territories, Alaska has rather limited road infrastructure concerning relatively small area of the state. Alaskan Highway is the principal route in and out of Alaska, linking together the central population centers.
The capital city – Juneau is not accessible via road but car ferry operating all year round. The western part of Alaska has no road system which could connect the communities with the rest of Alaska. The research shows, that in the past two years, only 5 % of visitors travelled by the Alaskan Highway.
Alaskan railway was built in 1915 and still it plays the key role in current development of the state.
The railway infrastructure connects north Pacific shipping through Seward to the Alaskan interior by way of South Central Alaska. It passes through key cities, such as Anchorage, Eklutna, Denali and Fairbanks with spurs to Palmer and North Pole. However, the Alaskan railway is still mostly used for cargo, not the tourist traffic.
More than 42 % of full year visitors volume comes to Alaska with the cruise ships. Shipping routes, connecting western Pacific with the southern Alaska in recent years created increase of the tourist traffic via sea. It is greatly known that some of the coastal villages can largely raise in population during the pick season of the summer period.
Even though the sea cruises become more and more popular, the great numbers of visitors travel every year to remote U.S territory via air. The research indicates that last year more that more than 54%, what give a number of almost 100.000 people choose aircraft as their way of transportation. The air traffic infrastructure remains highly developed and majority of the international traffic is held by the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Because of the limited access to most of the Alaskan interior towns and villages, those are regularly served by U.S domestic airlines.
The tourist volume has been increasing, however not significantly as not more than 4% over the past year, including both summer and winter traffic. Majority of the total traffic to Alaska is services by air traffic operators, while the marine cruise traffic is the second largest. Alaskan tourism industry is one of the biggest state´s industries, creating major of employment opportunities both for residents and non – residents from all over the world.