From the Altoona Mirror
Local tourism officials gathered Tuesday at Lakemont Park as part of a Travel Rally Day.
The event, held in conjunction with the 27th annual National Travel and Tourism Week, was designed to create an appreciation for travel and tourism’s impact on the economy and the workers whose jobs depend on travel.
Hosted by the Alleghenies Tourism Council, the local rally, which organizers hope will be an annual event, was one of numerous held nationwide.
Tourism is the second-largest industry in Pennsylvania behind agriculture but has recently been hit with funding cuts.
For example, Pennsylvania tourism funding fell from $32 million in 2009 to $14.2 million in the 2010 budget, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus.
“Since 2008, Pennsylvania’s tourism funding has been reduced by 65 percent. That is a false solution to the budget shortfall. Tourism means business in Pennsylvania,” said Rob Fulton, PACVB president. “In 2007, travelers spent $28 billion in Pennsylvania, that means dollars coming into our economy.”
Those involved with tourism locally said tourism funding needs to be increased, not decreased.