The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012||
Press Release: House Econ. Dev, Trade Special Committee
House OK's Compromise 50% Tourism Marketing Program
|Associations to Match Half of State Contributions Under HB 160|
Posted: April 11, 2011
(Juneau) - The Alaska House of Representatives today passed a bill providing a funding source and state spending cap for a destination tourism marketing program.
... visitor numbers are declining across the board so it's important to backstop their marketing efforts before it's too late to keep visitors and their dollars flowing into Alaska.
~ Rep. Bob Herron
House Bill 160, sponsored by the House Special Committee on Economic Development, Trade & Tourism, proposes that qualified trade associations (QTAs) contribute one dollar for every two dollars provided by the state, and capping the state's participation at $12 million per year.
"The tourism industry is without question one of the most important to our state," EDT&T Chair Bob Herron, D-Bethel, said. "The industry drives jobs and tax and fee revenues to the state, but visitor numbers are declining across the board so it's important to backstop their marketing efforts before it's too late to keep visitors and their dollars flowing into Alaska."
Passage of HB 160 would bring the funding in the governor's proposed FY 2012 statewide operating budget to the cap of $12 million, for a potential program total of $18 million with industry participation.
"On July 1, current law will put the match rate at one dollar of state money for each industry dollar contributed, which would equate to around just $5.4 million. That doesn't help the industry," House Finance Committee Co-Chair Bill Thomas, R-Haines, said. "This legislation goes a long way to getting more support to one of the most important industries in our state."
The bill also recreates the nine-member board to oversee the marketing campaign to be funded. The governor would select three members from the cruise industry for three-year terms, and the QTA would select one member from each of the four judicial districts, plus two at-large members.
HB 160, which passed by a vote of 36-4, now moves to the Alaska Senate.