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Tourism Development and Marketing

Training and Business Assistance

The State of Alaska provides training programs and business assistance to communities, businesses, agencies, and residents to help disperse economic benefits of tourism throughout the state, and retain benefits in the communities where visitation occurs.


Right: Alaska Tour Guide Training Program
Photo Credit: Flip and Linda Nicklin

Alaska Tour Guide Training

Business Assistance
Resources for Business Plans
Licenses and Permits
State of Alaska Business License

All businesses operating in the State of Alaska must obtain a business license from the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.

Guides and Outfitters

Big Game Commercial Services Permit. If you want to provide guide, outfitting or transportation services for big game, the State of Alaska requires you to obtain a professional license from the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. Regulated professions include master guide-outfitter, registered guide-outfitter, assistant guide, class-A assistant guide and transporter.

Sport Fishing Guides & Charter Requirements. Licensing information for both sport fish guiding businesses and individual sport fishing guides is available from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.

Commercial Services. All commercial recreation businesses that use state uplands, shorelands, tidelands, and fresh water bodies must register with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). For additional information, a factsheet is available or you can register online.

Alaska State Parks. Non-Competitive Park Use Permits for Commercial Activities are issued through the Donald E. Gilman Center in Soldotna, Alaska with the exception of Wood-Tikchik and Chugach State Parks.

6-Pack License (US Coast Guard) or Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV). Do you want to offer charter fishing, whale watching, SCUBA diving, and tour cruises for six passengers or less? The US Coast Guard requires you to obtain a 6-Pack license for your un-inspected passenger vessel. This license is limited to near coastal waters only, not more than 100 miles offshore, and is not valid for international voyages. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Developing provides a list of licensing authorities.


Overnight Accommodations. Thinking of opening a hotel, motel, RV park, campground, or other overnight accommodation? The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety & Sanitation Program has resources to get you started.

State of Alaska Bed and Breakfast requirements. The Alaska Tourism Development Office provides contacts for bed and breakfast businesses in one convenient resource.

Bed and Breakfast Hot Tubs. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Food Safety, and Sanitation Program provides information on State of Alaska requirements for Hot Tubs in Alaska’s Bed and Breakfast Establishments.

Temporary Camps. Operating a food service at a camp serving between 13 and 24 individuals each day? The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety & Sanitation Program has  resources to get you started.

Food Services

Thinking of opening a food establishment? The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Food Safety and Sanitation Program has resources to get you started.

Sector-Specific Resources

DVD: Navigating Tourism Business Opportunities with the Alaska Cruise Industry (2008) (Contact Contact Us)

DVD: Operating a Bed & Breakfast in Alaska (2008). Play Full Video in .wmv format.)

Clicking on the links below will launch a new web page in a new browser window for documents prepared by the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development

Clicking on the links below will launch a new web page in a new browser window for documents prepared by the University of Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service

Visitor Industry Taxes and Fees
Marketing Assistance

The State of Alaska’s tourism marketing programs offer fresh ideas to attract visitors to your place of business and are open to all tourism-related Alaska businesses. We encourage you to choose among the international, domestic consumer, domestic trade, and media programs that will work best for your company.

Statewide Trade Associations

Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailer’s Association

Alaska Campground Owner’s Association

Alaska Charter Association

Alaska Travel Industry Association

Alaska Hunter’s Association

Alaska Sportfishing Association

Alaska Wilderness, Recreation, and Tourism Association

Bed & Breakfast Association of Alaska

Regional Tourism Marketing Organizations

Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council

Mat-su Convention & Visitors Bureau

Southwest Alaska

Southeast Alaska Tourism Council

Local Convention and Visitors Bureaus/Chambers of Commerce
Interior and Far North

Delta Junction Visitor Center

Denali Chamber of Commerce

Fairbanks Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nome Alaska Visitor’s Center


Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau

Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce

Cordova Chamber of Commerce

Homer Chamber of Commerce

Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

Palmer Chamber of Commerce

Seldovia Chamber of Commerce

Seward Chamber of Commerce, Conference & Visitors Bureau

Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Talkeetna Chamber of Commerce

Valdez Convention & Visitors Bureau

Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau

Greater Whittier Chamber of Commerce

Willow Chamber of Commerce


Haines Convention & Visitors Bureau

Juneau Convention & Visitors Bureau

Ketchikan Visitors Bureau

Metlakatla Indian Community

Petersburg Alaska Chamber of Commerce

Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce

Sitka Convention & Visitors Bureau

Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau

Wrangell Convention & Visitor Bureau


Bethel Chamber of Commerce

Igiugig Village

Kodiak Chamber of Commerce

Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor Convention & Visitors Bureau

AlaskaHost Customer Service Training

AlaskaHost is a statewide customer service training program designed for employees of the hospitality and visitor services industry.


The Alaska Native CulturalHost Seminar is a comprehensive training program designed with assistance from the Cook Inlet Tribal Council to provide a greater understanding and appreciation of Alaska Native culture for workers within Alaska’s hospitality and tourism industry.

Alaska Tour Guide Training

Knowledgeable local tour guides are a great way to introduce visitors to Alaska and can add authenticity and incredible value to visitors’ experiences. The Alaska Tour Guide Training program is a training course for tour guides to increase the number of local guides working in the visitor industry, especially in rural areas of the state.

Additional Training Resources

The American Red Cross of Alaska offers first aid and CPR training.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a list of resources for charter boat operators (6-pack licenses).

The Alaska Hotel, Cabaret, Restaurant and Retailers Association offers Training for Alcohol Professionals (TAP) and Food Safety (ServSafe) classes.

Alaska's Institute of Technology offers training programs and courses through the the Alaska Culinary Academy and the Alaska Maritime Training Center.

The Alaska Small Business Development Center offers business development workshops.

The Alaska Travel Industry Association offers an E-Learning Center for members.

Southeast Alaska Independent Living offers training to help businesses accommodate visitors who experience a disability.

Publications Developing Alaska Rural Tourism (2005-2010)

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Economic Development and the U.S. Economic Development Administration provided technical assistance, training, and business mentorship to rural Alaska communities, and rural tourism businesses through the Developing Alaska Rural Tourism (DART) project.

Tourism Mentorship Assistance Program (2006-2010)

Grants from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development provided resources to conduct the Tourism Mentorship Assistance Program (TMAP) that partnered successful business owners in Alaska's visitor industry with potential business owners to further development of the visitor industry in rural Alaska.

Contact Us

Caryl McConkie
Development Specialist