But will immediately begin work on permanent funding solution for 2011 national campaign.
LANSING, Mich., March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michigan's tourism industry thanked legislators for action taken today to increase the State's tourism promotion budget from $5.4 to just under $15 million. The House concurred with and overwhelmingly passed SB 619 sponsored by tourism industry advocate Senator Jason Allen. No changes were made to the bill as passed by the Senate several weeks ago. The legislation provides an additional $9.5 million for this year's Pure Michigan campaign.
"In a year which saw a $3 billion State budget deficit closed and budgets for essential programs like revenue sharing and K-12 education cut, we are deeply appreciative for any increase in the $5.4 million originally appropriated for Pure Michigan," said Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association (MLTA) President/CEO Steve Yencich. The resulting total of $14.9 million is not enough to fund the national and regional campaigns this summer and fall.
"We are disappointed in Senate leadership's refusal to take up possible votes on additional funding above the 9.5 million for this year, as well as on establishment of a long term funding mechanism to ensure Pure Michigan's future," Yencich said. "We are appreciative of the House's leadership in passage of legislation which provides short and long term funding solutions for Pure Michigan, as well as the support Governor Granholm has provided throughout this process."
The industry's lobbying efforts will now immediately focus on passage of legislation providing consistent annual funding for Pure Michigan, as well as increasing the promotion budget to $30M for the 2011 fiscal year that begins on October 1st.
"We need to reinforce the need for a permanent funding source for Pure Michigan, one that avoids the issue becoming a political football each year. This state's economy also needs a national Pure Michigan campaign to generate new tax revenues to fund schools and essential services like police and fire protection, as well as provide jobs for the unemployed." The association encouraged lodging and tourism industry owners and employees to contact legislators when they return home for Easter recess.
Based in Lansing, the Michigan Lodging & Tourism Association (MLTA) is a 105-year-old trade association that educates, markets, and advocates on behalf of Michigan's lodging and tourism industries.
SOURCE Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association