for Travel and Tourism
Position: The North
Carolina General Assembly should give higher priority than in the past
to appropriations for promotion and development of the state's travel
and tourism industry. Specifically, serious consideration should be
given to the goals of Tourism 2000, an initiative of the North
Carolina Board of Travel and Tourism.
Travel and tourism is now the largest
industry in the world, with an estimated $3.4 trillion in annual
consumer expenditures. It is the second largest industry in North
Carolina, with a multibillion dollar annual consumer expenditure.
Tourism generates jobs and tax revenues that are considerable in our
state's economic development. The North Carolina General Assembly
recognized the importance of the industry when it established the NC
Board of Travel and Tourism.
Of the Southeastern United
States, North Carolina captured only 10.94% of the market share of
consumer travel and tourism expenditures in 1996. Our major competing
states are considerably more supportive in promoting this industry.
According to the Division of Travel and Tourism, South Carolina spent
$19.2 million this year, Tennessee $14.6 million, and Virginia about
$13 million. In contrast, North Carolina's current expenditures of
$6.2 million were not sufficient to compete in this area. In 1997,
North Carolina spent only $5.5 million to promote travel and tourism.
Tourism has no boundaries in
North Carolina. It deserves the highest practicable level of support.
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