1. Kodiak is an amazing place for tourists to visit with world class outdoor activities: fishing, hunting, hiking, and wildlife viewing.
  2. Existing tourism related business in our village communities, including hunting and fishing lodges in Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, Akhiok, and Port Lions, provide economic activity and employment for residents
  3. “Discover Kodiak”, Kodiak’s Destination Marketing Organization, has promoted Kodiak worldwide as a travel destination since 1986, with their main purpose to promote sustainable development of the tourism and convention industry throughout the Kodiak Island Borough and City, thereby increasing economic opportunities, jobs and local tax revenues.  
  4. Pre-pandemic, the number of cruise ships stopping in Kodiak had increased and participation in the Bear Town Market by local arts and crafts also increased supporting small entrepreneurs. Cruise ship traffic is forecast to increase again in the 2024 season.  
  5. The Alaska Marine Highway Service serves Kodiak, Ouzinkie, Port Lions, and Old Harbor with Mainland Alaska and the Aleutian Chain.


  1. Limited tourism support infrastructure in the village communities, including transportation and available services may make access for potential mainstream tourists challenging. 
  2. Air Transportation from the Mainland and the Lower 48 to Kodiak is expensive and may limit the number of travelers.
  3. Cruise ship tourists tend not to eat out in traditional restaurants while on shore.  
  4. The downtown area of the City of Kodiak is dated and several storefronts sit empty.  


  1. Eco-tourism is gaining substantially worldwide and provides good opportunity in the Kodiak Region.  Low impact, outdoor based, nature exploration like hiking, surfing, camping, birding, kayaking, whale watching, bear viewing, and more are all accessible on Kodiak Island.  
  2. Cultural Tourism is rising in interest and focus.  The Alaska Native Cultural Tourism Plan has a state-wide view, while the Alutiiq Heritage Foundation has a more Kodiak Regional view through development work at the Alutiiq Museum and ideas behind developing artist & culture-bearer workforce development opportunities and resource availability. 
  3. Growth of existing village-based tourism businesses and support infrastructure, including transportation, accommodation, and internet/cellular connectivity.
  4. Foods (seafood) and beverages (brewery/cidery) with Kodiak or Alaska specific focus could be designed and marketed specifically to cruise ship tourists.  
  5. Increased promotional opportunities for off-road system tourism business operators through Discover Kodiak.
  6. Kodiak regional Alaska Native Corporations may find opportunity in investing in Tourism infrastructure to build up local capacity and earn a return on their investment.  
  7. Kodiak Economic Development Corporation Storefront Improvement Program, in partnership with Kodiak Area Native Association, is intended to assist businesses in the downtown core are with improving storefront appearance through a matching grant of up to $7,500.   


  1. State of Alaska budget cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway have forced reduction of the operating schedule and length of service season.
  2. Unintended consequences that are associated with tourism activities, including increased traffic, impact to infrastructure, and utilization of subsistence resources. 
  3. Environmental/Natural catastrophe: oil spill, earthquake, bear mauling, global pandemic – could bring tourism activity to a halt.
  4. The Tustumena is the main ferry that services the Koniag and Aleutian region for the Alaska Marine Highway, due to the age of the vessel it is often in dry dock for extended periods of time for repairs. This results in travel delays, shipping delays, and uncertainty for travelers. 


Kodiak Island, often dubbed The Emerald Isle, draws tourists from around the world.  According to Kodiak Island Borough and City of Kodiak reports, Kodiak sees over 60,000 visitors annually.

The 2019 cruise ship season brought 30 ships with approximately 22,000 passengers.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 seasons were effectively cancelled.  Slowly making a resurgence, the 2023 season had 23 ships scheduled and 2024 has 20 ships scheduled to Kodiak; double the amount from 2022.  

The pandemic slowdown brought significant impact to the business reliant on tourism, including small independent artists and crafters, who rely on the cruise ship visitors for their livelihood.  

The purpose of the visitors’ travel varies, including hunting, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing; tourists provide a vital contribution to the diversity of the local economy.  

The Kodiak Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, Discover Kodiak, has been promoting sustainable development of the tourism and convention industry throughout the Kodiak Island Borough and City since 1985.  This work increases economic opportunities, jobs, and local tax revenues.  Recent employment figures published by Discover Kodiak places 8% of Kodiak’s labor force related to tourism.  

Much of the tourism promotion work has historically focused on the City of Kodiak and the connected road system.  Recently, tourism industry development has become of bigger interest in the village communities, including in areas of Cultural Tourism and Eco Tourism.  Work in the Cultural Tourism sector includes the recently published Alaska Native Cultural Tourism Plan ( lead by the Alaska Native Heritage Center in March 2022.  Further, development plans under way at the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak include renovations to increase museum space and the gift shop area and artist/culture-bearer workforce development.  

Eco tourism includes low impact, outdoor based activities like camping, hiking, surfing, birding, kayaking, whale watching, bear viewing, etc. on the road system and in the rural village communities.  Opportunities abound for these activities around the Kodiak Archipelago.  Transportation is an essential component to successful tourism industry; as an island, Kodiak Island is only accessible by air or water.  Alaska Airlines is currently the only commercial air carrier connecting Kodiak Island to Mainland Alaska.  Island Air is the only carrier providing scheduled service between the Kodiak road system and the village communities.  The Alaska Marine Highway provides a vital connection between the Kodiak road system (along with Ouzinkie, Port Lions, and occasionally Old Harbor) and mainland Alaska. Any disruptions that could occur with any of these carriers could collapse an already fragile transportation segment. Additionally, there are six other float plane companies that offer non-scheduled transportation to off-road system locations.