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Legislature Acts to Boost Tourism in Alaska

Senate Bill 194 creates the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board

JUNEAU-The Alaska State Legislature passed Senate Bill 194, which creates the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED).

“Tourism continues to be a growing, renewable industry that is the second largest employer in the state. More than 1.9 million visitors came to Alaska last year spending over $1.8 billion,” said Senator McGuire. “This bill is an important step in continuing the growth of one of our most important economic cornerstones.”

SB194 requires DCCED and the newly created board to work together to plan and execute a destination tourism marketing plan for Alaska.

“Without adequate and stable funding levels and a consistent marketing program, Alaska cannot effectively compete with other U.S. destinations that have increased their financial investment into their own tourism marketing programs,” said Senator McGuire.

The board would be comprised of a minimum of 21 members with 18 members recommended by the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), one member from DCEED, one member from the House, and one member from the Senate.

“The make-up of this board ensures the private sector has skin in the game,” said Senator McGuire. “From mom and pop shops to the cruise industry, industry knows how best to promote itself. On top of that, we also made sure every sector and every region of the state will be represented.”

SB194 does not change how tourism marketing is currently funded or how expenditures are made by DCCED. It simply formalizes the board as being an important part of the process in the development of a marketing plan for the State. As part of this, the public members of the board serve at no cost to the State.

“The idea behind this board is to get the true experts of the industry together to make sure we are spending our money wisely and effectively while getting the benefit of this true expertise without any cost to the State,” said Senator McGuire. “Having significant tourism marketing experience and knowledge from the private sector at the table is very beneficial.”

SB194 now heads to Governor Sean Parnell for his signature.

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