Even if the COVID-19 outbreak in Alaska is limited to the  confirmed cases, its economy may still be at the mercy of the pandemic.
That’s because seasonal tourism plays an outsized role in Alaska’s economy, representing as much as 1 in 10 jobs throughout the state and more in the regions surrounding Anchorage and the capital Juneau. Nearly all of the state’s tourists get there on a cruise ship.
As a result of government warnings and general fears, tourism and travel are expected to plunge in the coming weeks and months, particularly on cruise ships, which have begun temporarily suspending operations.
As economists who specialize in how people respond to risks like infectious disease and the regional impacts of economic shocks, we believe Alaska offers a window into just how far-reaching the impacts of the current outbreak can be even if the pandemic’s spread is well managed. It also could help guide the federal government as it considers an economic stimulus package designed to offset COVID-19. (Read more from “Tourist Destinations Like Alaska Are Being Devastated by the Coronavirus” HERE)