DIY Economic Development – The Tourism Industry Way

March 8, 2011

We live in an interesting time for the public sector. Local and state governments are struggling to allocate scarce tax dollars to a variety of important programs and needs, and often short term issues (public safety, social services) are winning out over long-term investments like higher education and economic development. Whether you think that’s the right way or the wrong way to approach it, that’s what’s happening, and so it’s interesting to see how economic development organizations are dealing with the new reality.

And one of the most interesting reactions that we’re seeing is “Fine, if you won’t help me, I’ll do it myself.” Like the tourism industry is proposing to do.

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Promoting Tourism Regionally

July 9, 2009

When it comes down to it, a successful tourism industry is about two things: good product and good marketing.  We’re lucky that we’ve got a lot of great product here in the region, both natural beauty-wise and great offerings from wine and food to sports and arts, etc.  But we also know that marketing hasn’t been a big strength, at least in terms of investment.  Until the state increased funding for tourism promotion from a budget of $3.7 million in 2007 to $7.1 million in 2008, we were 46th out of 50 states (and that’s gross, not per capita!). And I can promise you without even looking that we didn’t see a big increase in this past legislative session Read the rest of this entry »