House Considering ‘Destination Marketing’ Over Simple Tourism Promotion

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Jay Barrett/KMXT

Governor Sean Parnell is at a cruise ship conference in Florida this week, prompting speculation over what kind of new proposals he may bring back. Last year after the event, Parnell pushed through a reduction in the voter-mandated cruise ship head tax.

Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman was among House Majority Caucus members who were asked about cruise ship and tourism funding at a press conference Monday:

(Tourism 1 39 sec "We have had conversations … to the table more.")

Anchorage Representative Craig Johnson said the legislature’s focus is on the larger issue of tourism and destination funding, not just cruise ship funding:

(Tourism 2 27 sec "I know sometimes they get … marketing Alaska tourism.")

Soldotna Representative Kurt Olsen said he’s waiting for a plan from the tourism industry to emerge so the legislature can have something to act on:

(Tourism 3 19 sec "At least for me and for … point in time, we haven’t.")

Austerman said there has been discussion about doing more than just marketing tourism:

(Tourism 4 19 sec "Promoting Alaska is … could be doing.")

Austerman said members of the Alaska Travel Industry Association are scheduled to be in Juneau next week to lobby the legislature, specifically on House Bill 160. It would earmark 70-percent of existing vehicle rental tax and corporate income tax paid by tourism businesses towards Alaska tourism, to the tune of almost $18-million. With a match of $2.7-million from the industry, it would provide $20-million for marketing annually.

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