Haines Borough tourism director Tanya Carlson arrived in town a week ago, filling a position that’s been open for five months.
Carlson worked four seasons aboard Holland America cruise ships as a naturalist and assistant shore executive and most recently for a travel company in Eau Claire, Wis. Her work since arriving has included drafting a department budget for the coming year.
She said she didn’t anticipate any big changes and that assistant Angie Robinson kept the office in good shape in the absence of a tourism director.
Carlson holds a degree in marine biology from University of Alaska-Southeast. A summer job working on whale-watching boats in Juneau helped draw her into tourism.
"People have a dream to see a destination and experience it. It comes down to you’re making people’s dreams come true. That’s the rewarding part," she said of the visitor industry.
Carlson said she’s been introducing herself around town and would be at the next Tourism Advisory Board meeting, set for 9 a.m. March 16 at the assembly chambers.
Her Jeep is recognizable by her Wisconsin license plates that read "1 Alaska." "I was disappointed I had to give up my Alaska license plate when I relocated, so I got vanity plates so they’d still say ‘Alaska.’"