Under a new bill signed into law last week by Gov. Sarah Palin, Alaska tourism will get a $9 million annual allocation for the next three years to help market the state throughout the world as a tourist destination.
Otter Cove Resort owner Roark Brown, who also operates Homer Ocean Charters, worked with legislators and others on the Alaska Travel Industry Association board of directors to help get the bill passed.
“This is $4 million more than the funding for previous years. I’ve worked two years on this,” Brown told a Homer Chamber of Commerce group gathered at Otter Cove for its monthly mixer.
The money would be funneled through the Alaska Tourism Industry Association to pay for marketing and advertisements in the state, nation and internationally, Brown said.
HB 147 also changes the match formula that travel industry members pay to fund marketing. Formerly it was a 50-50 split with the state. Now the travel industry’s portion is 30 percent.
“Tourism marketing is still under-funded. In this environment of high fuel costs and a tough economy, Alaska needs to market itself better,“ Brown said. “We’re not the only ones in the world who have mountains, glaciers and wildlife. There are other places to, and we need to advertise to stay competitive.”
The state’s investment in tourism is returned in revenue and jobs, Brown said.
This is the ninth season Otter Cove Resort has been open.
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