LISTEN: It was supposed to be a record year for Alaska tourism. Then COVID-19 hit.

(Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOO)

Alaska tourism businesses were anticipating a record year for visitors in 2020. Then the pandemic forced shutdowns and travel restrictions for visitors decimated prospects for the annual revenue boost so many Alaskans depend on. How much has federal CARES Act funding helped Alaska’s visitor industry and will these businesses survive the winter? We’ll discuss the summer of too much vacancy on the next Talk of Alaska.

HOST: Lori Townsend

  • Debbie Speakman, Executive Director, Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council
  • Liz Perry, President & CEO, Travel Juneau
  • Sarah Leonard, President & CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association


Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (comments may be read on air).

Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, Aug 18, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
LIVE Web stream: Click here to stream.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. 

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