Royal Caribbean Group has pledged support for the Shop Local Alaska Program, an initiative by the BuyAlaska Program and Voyij.com, an online marketplace exclusively for Alaska businesses.
Here's what you need to know:
BuyAlaska and Voyij.com have partnered to help Alaska businesses survive the uncertainty of the 2021 summer season and to build economic resilience for the state. The Shop Local Alaska program directly generates revenue for port town businesses by marketing Alaska products to millions of people out of state. Shop Local Alaska was created as a response to the uncertainty of the 2021 cruise season.
As small businesses in Alaska face another season crippled by the loss of 1.3 million visitors to the state by cruise lines, Royal Caribbean Group has agreed to raise awareness of Alaskan-owned businesses in port towns that are struggling to survive. It will market the Shop Local Alaska Program to guests of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises around the globe.
Consumers will be able to browse virtual Alaskan stores and buy with confidence on Voyij.com during this period when ships are not able to take them there. The site offers a wide variety of Alaskan products; from locally caught fish to Alaskan jewelry to native art to clothing of the North. Any Alaskan-owned business can list their products on the Voyij marketplace.
The cruise group said in a press release that "in addition to Alaska’s spectacular scenery and wildlife, small businesses that give port-towns their unique character and charm have been a major draw for visitors."
Alaska's governor Mike Dunleavy said in a written statement: “I am committed to deploying all resources that result in increased partnerships like the 'Shop Local Alaska' initiative that spurs Alaska’s economy and directly benefits small businesses across our state.”
Thriving small businesses in Alaska means good business for Alaska travel suppliers. Royal Caribbean Group is the first major travel supplier to hop onboard with the Shop Local Alaska program in support of keeping Alaska’s small businesses open for when cruise visitors return to Alaska.
“Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises guests love Alaska for its awe-inspiring natural beauty," added Wendy Lindskoog, associate vice president, government relations for Royal Caribbean Group. "Yet, it is the people and experiences of the 'Last Frontier' that create lasting memories.”
Lindskoog said the initiative is "a small way for our cruise lines and guests to stay connected to Alaska until our ships return to sail to the 49th state.”
For more information, visit www.shoplocal.voyij.com