• Japanese winter tourism in rural Alaska: Bettles Lodge

      Kojima, Mie (2000-12)
      Japanese tourists increasingly visit the Arctic in wintertime because of their interest in northern lights. Some rural communities in Alaska see this as an opportunity to enter winter tourism by targeting the Japanese market. The purpose of this study is to gain better understanding of the interests of these Japanese visitors and to explore potentials for tourism development in rural Alaska. A Japanese visitor survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 at Bettles Lodge in Interior Alaska. The data reveal that the average visitor to Bettles Lodge was female, over 61 years of age, an urban dweller, employed full-time, and college educated. Results show that Bettles Lodge receives a mixture of younger individual travelers and older group travelers, who have very different needs and expectations. The study suggests that sustainable tourism development may be best achieved through cooperation involving all local interests and stakeholders.