Office of Tourism Development

Developing Alaska Rural Tourism (DART)

Developing Aalska Rural Tourism

DART Current Projects

Here is a current list of the projects we are working on under the DART program. As you can see there is a mix of training, planning, and technical assistance. Please contact the Division of Economic Development if you have questions or would like more information about any of these projects.

Western Alaska

  • Southwest Alaska Regional Tourism Website, including Bristol Bay and Kodiak.
    We are working with the Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference to develop a new tourism website to replace the existing site, The initial new website should be finished by December 2009, when people begin planning travel for next year.
  • St. Paul Island Tours – TDX Corporation
    On February 10 & 11, 2009, we taught AlaskaHost, customer service training for the visitor industry to over a dozen TDX staff and high school students. We are also assisting three new tourism businesses with their business planning and marketing strategies.
  • Bed & Breakfast Workshops and Mentoring – Bethel and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.(Y/K)
    We held a B&B workshop in Goodnews Bay on April 21 & 22, and we are planning a B&B – Workshop in Bethel in November, 2009. Watch here for details and updates.

  • B&B – Workshop in Bethel tba
  • Y/K Culture Camps
    We are working with the Calista Elders Council to assess the potential and training needed to expand their youth and elder Culture Camps to add an ecotourism component, to help offset the costs of the summer camps. We visited the camps July 14 – 16, 2009.
  • Native Village of Kwinhagak and Qanirtuuq, Inc.
    We are working with the corporation to assess the potential and training needed to build Kanektok River Adventures (KRA) into a viable ecotourism venture. KRA was a recipient of an Alaska Federation of Natives Alaska Marketplace grant to help start the business. We visited the camp, along with other ecotourism experts, July 24, 2009.
  • Bristol Bay Guide Training
    Working with the village of Ekwok, and the Bristol Bay Native Association to help them offer their successful “Fly Fishing Guide” training program they offered in 2008.
  • City of Nome and Kawerak hosted a Tourism Stakeholders Meeting in Nome January 27 & 28, 2009.
    DART assisted with the facilitation. There are plans for follow-up assessments for Little Doimede and other destinations in the Bering Strait.

Interior Alaska

  • Tourism in Rural Alaska
    a semester long course taught by the University of Alaska – Prince William Sound Community College (PWSCC) in Glennallen, co-sponsored by the Copper Valley Development Assn. and DART. The next class is being held this fall, 2009. For more information on the course contact PWSCC at 907- 822-3673,
  • Yukon River
    Limited OUPV 6-Pack License Training. We conducted the Freshwater 6-Pack License training for 10 students in Galena January 30 & 31. As of this spring (June, 2009) 6 participants have gone on to complete the requirements for obtaining the license, which includes the application, screening, and physical.

Southeast Alaska

  • Jilkaat Kwan Cultural Center, Chilkat Indian Village in Klukwan
    We are assisting with a Strategic and Marketing Plan for the new center. We held a community meeting for the plan on April 29 & 30, 2009. We also conducted workshops in Klukwan for the center on operating a food service facility, and operating a gift shop. Further specialty training is planned for the staff. The Hospitality House, now under construction, is the first stage of the facility.
  • Alaska’s Rainforest Islands – Prince of Wales Island, Wrangell, and Petersburg
    We began assisting with this regional branding effort three years ago. This year we conducted a Tour Operator Assessment Tour in June, where we brought in several tour operators to meet with local vendors and tourism representatives and help the local operators put together itineraries and marketing materials.
  • Kake
    Organized Village of Kake has asked for assistance with marketing and working with cruise lines for the new OVK dock at the cannery.

Tourism Mentorship Assistance Program - TMAP

We have 9 entrepreneurs starting new business that are enrolled in the TMAP program. We have subsequently recruited all but one mentor for them. The mentorship program will run for approximately one year and will include an orientation (face-to-face) meeting, business and marketing assistance, website development, and more. There was a TMAP Orientation meeting in Anchorage January 19 & 20, 2009.

TMAP Entrepreneurs:

  • Sam & Tamara Clark, Yukon River wilderness lodge near Ruby
  • Bruce Inglangasak, polar bear tours, Kaktovik
  • Tyler Campbell, Sr., tour guide, Gambell
  • Gerald Kosbruk, fishing and tour guide, Perryville
  • Dale & Cynthia Erickson, Tanakon Tours, Tanana
  • Brian James, B&B, Solomon
  • Moses Tulim, Calista Elders Council culture camps, Bethel
  • Lynn Grams, B&B, Copper Center
  • William Brent, wilderness lodge, Admiralty Island

Contact: Dru Garson 465-2162