- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A new report says Alaska had a record number of visitors to the state last year.

The report says more than 1.8 million people visited the state between May 2016 and September 2016. It says that figure represents a 4 percent increase over 2015 numbers.

The report was released Monday by the Alaska Tourism Industry Association and the state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

The report says much of the growth is due to a 6 percent increase in air volume.

Also up was the average amount spent - $1,057 per visitor - which represents a 4 percent increase from 2015. Altogether, visitors spent $1.97 billion in Alaska last summer.

The report says cruises ship passengers continue to account for more than half of the state’s visitors.

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