ATIA conference
ATIA CEO Sarah Leonard speaks at the 2016 annual convention. Photo courtesy of Jodyo.

Sen. Mia Costello (R-Anchorage) has introduced Senate Bill 110 to create the Travel Alaska Board and a tourism marketing fund, two essential elements should the industry decide to assess itself.

“Alaska’s tourism industry is wrestling with just how to provide stable funding for statewide destination marketing in order to remain competitive among other traveler destinations around the world,” said Sarah Leonard, President and CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA).

Called the Travel Alaska Act, the introduction of SB 110 follows several months of discussion within the industry at ATIA Board of Directors and Alaska Tourism Marketing Board (ATMB) meetings.

“ATIA and ATMB board members have learned a great deal from questions and comments exchanged from member meetings around the state. We recognize there will be more questions and concerns from tourism businesses and are committed to continue open discussions with you,” Leonard said.

While the bill does not commit industry to any tax, fee or assessment, it does establish a framework for a voting and board election process, and includes a way to terminate any assessment.

“The overall goal for ATIA and industry leaders is to have a strong and competitive destination marketing program for Alaska,” Leonard said.

The bill was referred to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

Go here to learn more about a Tourism Improvement District and here to read the bill.

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