Minnesotans flock to Alaska for summer vacation – WCCO

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The coach industry is starting to spin again after the pandemic forced drivers to pump the brakes.

A tourist destination is growing in popularity as travelers prepare their summer plans.

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Minnesota residents find solace in Alaska and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport responds to growing demand.

After nearly four decades of business based in Lake City, Minnesota, John Hall’s Alaska Tours and Cruises is looking forward to a nearer-to-normal summer.

“It was really a stranger, but trying to navigate a stranger,” said Elizabeth Hall, chief operating officer.

They were once inactive, but now coaches will run at 50% of their capacity.

“There is a lot of movement in this direction,” she added.

Hall believes the pull for the long-haul destination is coming from typical international travelers now booking domestic travel.

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To meet demand, Alaska Airlines is adding a direct flight from MSP to Anchorage in June.

The airport reports that the number of passengers increased by 30% between 2019 and the last border.

Monique Delph is an A-1 Travel Consultant.

“It doesn’t require the additional testing required by Hawaii, so we’re very interested in the people who go there,” said Delph.

Delph plans an Alaska vacation for months.

New law allows cruise ships to sail to Alaska without stopping in Canada, where current COVID-19 restrictions have kept ships at bay.

A-1 Travel says that if people are interested in booking an Alaska vacation this summer the options are running out, you may need to be flexible. Rental cars are almost nonexistent after many companies sold off their inventory to stay afloat during the pandemic.

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John Hall’s Alaska Tours and Cruises will return to 100% capacity to mark 40 years of operation in 2022.



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