Unlike the contiguous 48 states, Alaska is not exactly a bastion for professional sports. Yes, a couple of minor league hockey clubs play there but it’s not like people are flocking from out of state to see the Anchorage Aces or Fairbanks Icedogs skate. Sports nuts across this land do make the trek to Green Bay, Wisconsin or the Bronx, New York for a taste of sports history. Since Alaska doesn’t have that card to play, they need other things to attract visitors. Fortunately for The Last Frontier they have a unique woman, who all by herself brings in tourists and big money each and every year.
Certainly the beauty of Alaska alone attracts visitors from all over the globe. The scenery, wildlife, and all around majesty is unparalleled. They come on boats, planes, trains, and cars to get a glimpse of God’s handy work. In recent years, the tourism boom in Alaska grew even greater thanks to a wild card. She is an accomplished state championship basketball player, but you probably know her more for her stint as governor and her run for the vice presidency. Sarah Palin alone brings her home state a fortune, just by being herself.
Palin is a big draw on the speakers circuit. Her TV and radio appearances make her supporters and detractors alike stop and take notice. According to a recent study, that popularity also directly affects the economy of Alaska in a very positive way.
US for Palin conducted a survey, Market Research: Sarah Palin’s Impact on Alaska Tourism. In typical Palin supporter fashion it was a grassroots effort. The project was thrown together by numerous donations from several Palin backers. Many of the contributions were small. They added up however to allow the project to happen and the findings were giant sized.
The survey sampled just under 500 people, most of whom paid a visit to Alaska after Palin was a prominent figure. The false meme that Palin is not popular is blown out of the arctic water throughout the findings.
About 44% of tourists surveyed said Palin herself was a motivating factor for making the trip. That alone is amazing. Could you imagine traveling to any state for any other political figure? Let alone a state that’s not around the corner for almost anyone. The positive numbers for Palin continue to pour in.
Around 35% said Palin piqued their interest in Alaska. Once there, they spent money. 42% doled out $1,001-$4,000 per visit while 23% spent between $4,001 and a robust $7,500.
This survey quashes the idea that Palin is polarizing. It also strengthens the theory that once you know more about her, the more you like her. Most Palin haters have never met her and have done little if any research on her actual record.
According to this survey, Palin’s favorability was 21 points higher among those who visited Alaska compared to those who have never been. Among Alaska tourists Palin’s unfavorable rating was only 26%. This despite all the attacks and lies about her from the lamestream media.
The big numbers are the dollar signs. Long story short, the Mama Grizzly is a cash cow for Alaska. The survey showed 335,997 tourists that visited Alaska specifically related to Sarah Palin spent a median of better than $1.1 billion between 2006 and 2013. Bottom line: Sarah Palin is directly generating $189 million per year in Alaska tourism money. That’s something a lot of pro sports teams can’t say.
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