Island Heritage Tours booth at Alaska
Marketplace Competition 2007.
Island Heritage Tours (IHT) is a tribally owned business that will provide
package tours of the community of Ouzinkie on Spruce Island. The Island
Heritage Tours package includes a boat ride, hiking, plant lore, Alutiiq
dancers cultural activities, traditional foods, and the Sourdough Flats
Golf Classic and unique Alutiiq crafts for sale. Ouzinkie is at the lower
edge of Marmot Bay and great land and sea sightseeing.
The target market is small groups and independent visitors to Kodiak; people
that want to have a rural community experience. IHT provides an opportunity
for a daylong tour that can introduce host and visitor alike to the Alutiiq
culture and beauty of the Kodiak Archipelago.
IHT does not have a direct competitor in the Kodiak area, but will be competing
with individual lodges around Kodiak Island, and fish and sightseeing businesses
that have the advantage of being headquartered in Kodiak.
IHT total start-up capital requirement is approximately $85,000. Start-up
capital is anticipated to come from Federal and State programs that support
development of tribally based economic development.
IHT's long-term goals are to increase tour revenues by 45% in the second
year of operation and 48% in the third year. Also, to increase the number
of clients booked by 52% the second year and 45% in the third year of operations.
The primary short-term goal of IHT is to ensure IHT customers’ tour and
visitor expectations are met.
In order to achieve these goals IHT will focus on three key areas:
- Effective targeting of adventure/rural travelers with in the larger
long stay Kodiak market.
- Successfully position IHT as a unique travel experience on Kodiak
- Develop a quality/reliability business and tour package through
good management and marketing.
Part of display at AFN 2007 in Fairbanks.
IHT will employ one full-time tour director to run day-to-day operations
and oversee the tour endeavor in the summer. A part-time seasonal assistant
will be hired to lend support during the busy spring and summer season.
IHT provides its tour services by contracting with a current boat operator
for daily small ferry service to and from Kodiak, and individual tour guides.
These contract agreements would boost entrepreneurial businesses in Ouzinkie.
Tourism development by Island Heritage Tours in the community will hopefully
be a catalyst for other business development. With new people visiting the
community there is an opportunity for entrepreneurial development of a restaurant.
An idea discussed by teenagers in the community is the possibility of a
coffee shop on the waterfront.
IHT will be a catalyst and create opportunity for community members to start
their own tourism related businesses. The tours and visitors that come to
Ouzinkie are potential customers for the current bed and breakfast that
operates in the community and the 5-7 chart boat operators in Ouzinkie.
Visitors can “add-on” to their trip by booking to stay the night at the
B, going on an oceans sightseeing tour around
Kodiak and Afognak Island or halibut and salmon sport fishing with a local
operator. The IHT transport contractor can take paying passengers to fill
empty seat on their skiff, especially on the trip to Kodiak in the morning.
The skiff operator can transport 6 passengers, so they have the opportunity
to fill empty seat on or even schedule more transports as needed.
The increase in the number of people coming to Ouzinkie for tours will increase
the need for a restaurant and coffee shop to serve them. A small goods shop
for the purchasing of t-shirts, hats and sweaters is also a business venture
that can be undertaken by an entrepreneurial community member. IHT will
increase the customer base for future businesses in Ouzinkie. Each venture
creates new jobs, brings new revenue to the community and to the entrepreneurial
A larger business venture is a lodge with full amenities that could serve
ten to twenty fisherman and hunters. Island Heritage Tours growth in future
years could drive entrepreneurial entry into salmon and halibut sport fishing
around Spruce Island. You can’t have a successful large lodge without having
a reason to go to the lodge. The lodge, and fishing and hunting go hand