Tourism Development and Marketing

Developing Alaska Rural Tourism (DART)

Developing Aalska Rural Tourism

Developing Aalska Rural Tourism

Developing Aalska Rural Tourism

DART Overview

Between 2004 and 2013, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Economic Development (DED) implemented the Developing Alaska Rural Tourism (DART) project, funded by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Through the program, DED and program partners provided technical assistance, training, and business mentorship to rural Alaska communities and rural tourism businesses to help develop the tourism industry of rural Alaska.

Technical Assistance and Training

The DART program funded projects relating to technical assistance and training.

These projects include:

  • A New Regional Tourism Website for Southwest Alaska
  • Tour Guide Training in Southwest Alaska
  • AlaskaHost – Customer Service Training for the Visitor Industry
  • CulturalHost – Cultural Tourism Training Program
  • Tour Product Assessments – Prince of Wales Island, Petersburg, & Wrangell
  • Cultural and Ecotourism Product Assessments – Kuskokwim Delta & Bering Strait
  • Targeted Workshops – Operating a B&B; Restaurant Management, Gift Shop Management, other
  • “Tourism in Rural Alaska” Program – Prince William Sound Community College
  • Charter Boat - Freshwater 6-Pack License Training – Yukon River Communities
  • Marketing Plan for a new Cultural Center in Southeast Alaska.

Tourism Mentorship Assistance Program – TMAP

DART paired nine rural tourism businesses with experienced business mentors who helped them with their business and marketing plans and their websites. The first mentorship program ran for approximately one year and began with an orientation (face-to-face) meeting in Anchorage January 19 and 20, 2009.

The 2009 TMAP participants included: a Yukon River wilderness lodge near Ruby, a polar bear tour business in Kaktovik, a tour guide in Gambell, a fishing and tour guide in Perryville, a rafting tour on the Yukon river, a B&B in Solomon, culture camps in Bethel and on the Kuskokwim Delta, a B&B in Copper Center, and a wilderness lodge on Admiralty Island.