Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/25/1993 09:17 AM Senate FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 85(L&C):                                              
       An Act deleting  a requirement that certain  members of                 
       the board of directors of  the Alaska Tourism Marketing                 
       Council  be  substantially  involved  in a  visitor  or                 
       recreation industry business; relating to the selection                 
       of a presiding officer for the Alaska Tourism Marketing                 
       Council; extending  the termination date of  the Alaska                 
       Tourism  Marketing   Council;  and  providing   for  an                 
       effective date.                                                         
  CO-CHAIR DRUE PEARCE announced that  CSSB 85(L&C) was before                 
  the committee and  a teleconference would be  held with Tina                 
  M. Lindgren,  Executive Director,  Alaska Tourism  Marketing                 
  Council.  Co-chair Pearce asked Senator Kelly to explain the                 
  bill to the committee.                                                       
  SENATOR TIM KELLY,  Chairman of Labor &  Commerce Committee,                 
  said  the CSSB 85(L&C)  version allows  the chairman  of the                 
  board of directors  of the Alaska Tourism  Marketing Council                 
  to be elected by the board of  directors instead of the head                 
  of  the  Division  of  Tourism  automatically  becoming  the                 
  chairman, and extends the term of  the Council to four years                 
  (instead of ten recommended by the legislative auditor).  He                 
  also noted that  the word  "substantially" was deleted  from                 
  the title of  the bill.  Discussion was had  by SENATORS JAY                 
  KERTTULA and Kelly  whether the Council term  should be four                 
  or ten years.                                                                
  Co-chair Pearce  asked Ms. Lindgren to give the committee an                 
  overview of goals  for the Alaska Tourism  Marketing Council                 
  for the next year.  TINA LINDGREN said that ATMC had taken a                 
  new look at its priorities for the coming year.  Advertising                 
  has  moved as its  number one priority  which would generate                 
  interest for visitors  to Alaska.  Its secondary priority is                 
  to  generate  inquiries  for the  state  using  the vacation                 
  planner and satisfy  those inquiries.  Thirdly,  the Council                 
  will continue  its public  relations and  national press  to                 
  attract positive  coverage of the  state.  It  will continue                 
  newspaper  travel  sections and  institute new  programs for                 
  regions of the  United States that have a low travel rate to                 
  SENATOR STEVE FRANK voiced his  concern over the circulation                 
  reduction  of the  Vacation Planner  and reducing  inquiries                 
  that reach the small businesses in Alaska who do not have or                 
  cannot afford  other marketing programs.  He  asked what the                 
  Council's opinion was on this issue.  Mr. Lindgren said that                 
  it was of concern to the Council especially  in light of the                 
  small businesses.   However, the Council felt  strongly that                 
  it was the Council's responsibility to ensure that the whole                 
  state  benefit from  more  visitors  rather than  generating                 
  interest  toward the same visitors  and the same number each                 
  year.   She said the  Council had not planned  to change the                 
  program  extensively but was  hoping to find  the proper mix                 
  and level best for all of Alaska.  She agreed that the small                 
  businesses looked to the state to do advertising for them.                   
  In answer to  Senator Frank,  Ms. Lindgren  said the  target                 
  reduction for the  Vacation Planner  was being reduced  from                 
  450,000 to 350,000.   She pointed out that the  printing was                 
  not  nearly  as  expensive   as  the  national  advertising.                 
  Senator  Frank reiterated  that the  BRC card  would not  be                 
  there for the small businesses but  the cards would be there                 
  for the  large cruise  lines  because they  could afford  to                 
  continue it.   Ms.  Lindgren said  that  the Council  shared                 
  these concerns, but that it was a matter of budget dollars.                  
  Senator  Kerttula voiced his support of  the Council.  After                 
  his travels  into  the  bush,  he  felt  strongly  that  the                 
  Vacation Planner was  the only vehicle for  small businesses                 
  to advertise.   He  felt that  it  was going  to effect  his                 
  constituents.  Co-chair Pearce informed the committee and in                 
  answer to Senator Kerttula, that  the House subcommittee had                 
  increased the industry share to ATMC  from 15 percent to 22-                 
  1/2  percent.   She  said that  had not  been the  intent to                 
  reduce  ATMC's budget.   The Senate had  not yet come  to an                 
  agreement on  this  issue.    Senator Frank  said  that  the                 
  decision  to reduce the  Travel Planner was  done before the                 
  budget process, and was part of the FY94 plan.                               
  Co-chair   Pearce  said  her   intention,  because   of  the                 
  controversy surrounding ATMC,  was to  HOLD CSSB 85(L&C)  in                 
  committee.   She wanted to form a committee representing the                 
  administration,  legislature and  industry to  work together                 
  using the Alaska Visitors Association study as a base.  This                 
  committee  could come back to the  legislature with plans on                 
  effective continued funding and a direction of marketing for                 
  the state.   She announced that  the teleconference part  of                 
  the meeting was over.                                                        

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