The Tourism Mentorship Assistance Program (TMAP) represents an 18-month long program that partners current successful business owners in Alaska’s visitor industry with potential business owners committed to furthering the development of the visitor industry in Alaska’s rural areas. As a progression from the Division of Economic Development's D.A.R.T. program of targeted technical assistance in the form of trainings and workshops, the Tourism Business Mentorship program brings participants the opportunity to apply their business skills into the establishment and operation of a new business.
The program will provide potential business owners in rural Alaska with access to experts in the visitor services industry. These experts will have the opportunity to conduct site visits to rural Alaskan communities and will ultimately serve as a conduit for distributing information about these potential businesses and communities to their peers within the travel industry. Mentors will help open up avenues for networking and assist participants in learning how to set up tour packages to their communities (i.e. negotiating airfare, lodging, activities, etc.).The program intends to help potential tourism business owners confront and overcome many physical and psychological barriers to starting and operating a tourism business in rural Alaska.
The agencies involved in this project include the:
The timeline for TMAP extends from October 2006 to March 2008. Participants selected to be entrepreneurs in this program have shown an interest in the development of tourism as a means of economic growth for their rural communities. The mentors in the program share this interest in promoting tourism and economic development in rural Alaska.
The program seeks to encourage economic growth and diversification of rural economies by establishing visitor industry/tourism-related businesses in rural Alaska. It seeks to do this by increasing employment in the visitor industry in economically distressed regions of Alaska by assisting individuals to move from being simply interested in starting a business to actually starting a business.
The goals of the program include:
The program brings together existing business owners and potential business owners to form a dynamic relationship of exchanging ideas, providing encouragement, and expanding networks in Alaska’s expanding visitor industry. The project provides assistance to entrepreneurs in the following business development areas:
Additionally, mentors and entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas.
Toll Free Hotline 1-800-478-5626 within Alaska