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California Travel Association Sponsored Bill Protecting Tourism Signed by Governor Jerry Brown

October 9, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Legislation sponsored by the California Travel Association (CalTravel) and authored by Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting (D-San Francisco) was signed by Governor Jerry Brown Friday, October 4, 2013 to protect the longstanding practice of businesses assessing themselves to fund tourism promotion and neighborhood improvements from the unintended consequences of a state initiative.

With support from CalTravel, its membership, and both California tourism related and non-related businesses, Ting’s Assembly Bill (AB) 483 ensures that local governments may continue to establish and renew tourism marketing districts (TMDs) and other business improvement districts (BIDs).  These non-profit entities are voluntarily formed by businesses in partnership with local governments. The non-tax funds from these entities are used to promote the local destination across the state and nation. Since they are funded with assessments on the associated businesses, the tourism industry’s survival was called into question by the vague wording of Proposition 26.

“This bill further insures and secures the vitality of BIDs and BIDs, and illustrates the impact of advocating through our collective voice for tourism,” said John Severini, President/CEO of the California Travel Association. “This bill is also good news for the ‘non travel’ business community throughout the state.  Since visitors and business travelers to California also support and patronize a wide variety of businesses, ‘non tourism’ organizations benefit directly from a robust tourism industry.  Tourism is the backbone of California’s economy and it provides local residents with economic benefits in their local communities from the spend of visitors and business travelers.”

“We need to roll out the red carpet to public private partnerships that create jobs and grow our economy. Tourism is a vital part of our economy’s backbone.  Nearly a million jobs are at risk if we lose the promotional investments of this industry to the vagaries of a poorly drafted initiative.  No one voted for that,” said Ting “AB 483 received a huge outpouring of support and outreach from the tourism industry and the involvement of local travel related businesses throughout the state in this effort made a significant impact in achieving success for this important legislation.”

AB 483 received strong bipartisan support in the legislature.  Further information is available at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.

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