I got this suggested letter today which is being pushed as the “unified” New York State tourism message. We already know this is not the best way to fund things; it’s not even a lot of money. I’m not even defending how these dollars are actually being spent, but it’s the only mechanism we have. Decisions do actually have to be made, and time is running out.
Dear (*See Below):
I am writing on behalf of ANY COUNTY NEW YORK Tourism, the official tourism promotion agency for ANY COUNTY NEW YORK, just one of the statewide network of tourism promotion agencies designated to promote the New York State vacation product.
Our marketing efforts rely heavily upon the funding obtained through the legislatively created Tourism Matching Funds program. And, while the legislature appropriated the funds in the 2008-09 State budget, the county tourism agencies have not been notified of their matching funds awards. The time is now for making commitments for prime spring/summer marketing efforts and each agency cannot move forward until these funds are released from the budget office.
Advertising plans are being canceled in fear that the money will not be released. Contracts with local printers for travel guides are being held for the same reason. Website development and improvements are being delayed, or canceled outright.
I am asking your assistance in requesting those monies be released quickly so the counties can voucher the state for them and proceed with their 2009 travel marketing efforts. Please understand, for each dollar in Matching Funds, the average county spends an additional two local dollars. Thus, the $4.1 million in Matching Funds is a $12.3 million marketing effort.
Now is not the time to slow, or halt, tourism marketing efforts. In calendar 2007, the last year for which data is available, tourism generated more than $51 billion in visitor spending and roughly $8 billion in state and local taxes – tax revenue that went into health care, schools, roads and law enforcement efforts. In addition, many of those marketing dollars were invested in the local economy – with printers and commercial artists, with stationers and communication companies, and with website developers.
Final decisions about marketing plans need to be made now. With each passing day deadlines are not met. Opportunities are lost. Neighboring states are enticing travelers to visit areas other than New York. We encourage the NYS Budget office to release funds so we can best allocate our remaining resources to salvage our local tourism economies. I have enclosed some examples of our marketing efforts. We are proud of them and hope we can continue to spread the message about what a great place this is to visit and live. Thank you for your time and assistance. If you would like to discuss this further, I can be reached at Contact Me,
NYS Senate Committees
NYS Assembly Committees
Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry
Chair – Schimminger
Members – Amedore, Boyland, Boyle, Butler, Cahill, Crouch, DelMonte, Destito, Errigo, Finch, Gantt, Koon, Lifton, Lopez, Magnarelli, Molinaro, Morelle, Ortiz, Parment, Ramos, Stirpe, Towns
Tourism, Arts and Sports Development
Chair – Englebright
Members – Bing, Brodsky, DelMonte, Fields, Gabryszak, Gianaris, Gunther, Hoyt, Markey, McEneny, O’Donnell, O’Mara, Rabbitt, Reilly, Rivera, Sayward, Titone, Walker