Alaska nonprofits exist to serve diverse missions across the state. While some focus on specific neighborhoods or geographical areas or exist to support specific industries like trade or professional associations, others like chambers of commerce, labor unions, and workforce development agencies support networks of people and businesses. Together, these nonprofits serve as the backbone of Alaska’s businesses and government. One such nonprofit, the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), brings together tourism businesses to offer networking and training opportunities, while advocating for the visitor industry as a whole.
ATIA’s mission is to promote Alaska as a premier destination, which it does in part by managing the state’s tourism marketing program. When COVID-19 broke out, ATIA developed a partnership with the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), to distribute health and safety guidelines to travelers. Visitors could come to Alaska while minimizing risks to themselves, to industry workers, and to the general public. And businesses that rely on income from visitors could stay open.
ATIA partnerships with local, state, and federal governments, private businesses, and other nonprofits improves the state’s tourism economy. Sarah Leonard, ATIA President and CEO, sums up this backbone support well: “The more we can show the strength of the nonprofits in our community by encouraging collaboration, advocacy, and most of all, by bringing tourism dollars to Alaska, the stronger our communities and our economy.” ATIA is just one example of a nonprofit that strengthens our economy – throughout the pandemic and beyond.
“The more we can show the strength of the nonprofits in our community by encouraging collaboration, advocacy, and most of all, by bringing tourism dollars to Alaska, the stronger our communities and our economy.”
– Sarah Leonard, ATIA President and CEO
You can learn more about how nonprofits are a stabilizing force in the COVID economy in our Nonprofit Economic Impact Report.