Legislature(1993 - 1994)

03/03/1994 02:25 PM Senate L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
 COUNCIL) sponsored by SENATOR JAY KERTTULA, and invited his aide,             
 BILL KELDER, to give a sponsor statement.                                     
 MR. KELDER summarized the sponsor statement saying the resolution             
 calls on the Senate to support the Alaska Tourism Marketing                   
 Council, with full funding of the state's share of the council's              
 budget at the previous level.  He claims the council has done a lot           
 to stimulate the economy, provide jobs at the local and state wide            
 levels, and is one of the few programs, created by the legislature,           
 that actually provides revenue into the state coffers like the                
 General Fund.  He thought it deserved continued support.                      
 SENATOR RIEGER opened the committee to questions on SR 3.                     
 SENATOR SALO clarified the purpose of full funding.                           
 SENATOR RIEGER introduced DENNIS BRANDON, representing the Alaska             
 Visitors Association, on line from Anchorage.                                 
 Number 401                                                                    
 MR. BRANDON explained since 1975 there has been a cooperative                 
 marketing effort to provide a message from Alaska to potential                
 visitors to Alaska.                                                           
 MR. BRANDON said in 1988 this relationship was formalized through             
 legislation of what is now know as the Alaska Tourism Marketing               
 Council, and he praised the council as doing an amazing job in                
 establishing Alaska as a most sought after destination.  Since its            
 inception, he said Alaska has seen a steady growth of 8.1% annually           
 over the past three years.  He explained this has been done by                
 selective and target marketing which continually changes.                     
 MR. BRANDON described the changes in the visitors as seeking more             
 active vacation experiences than in previous years with more                  
 traditional tourists.  He also described the changes in the variety           
 of experiences presently enjoyed by the tourists and the expansion            
 of the areas enjoyed by the tourists from Southeast up into the               
 Kenai Peninsula and the Interior.                                             
 MR. BRANDON explained the visitors have enjoyed an expanded season            
 as well as additional interesting and enjoyable places to visit,              
 and he gave the Haul Road and the Aleyska Pipeline as examples.  He           
 reviewed the strategic television advertizing in both Canada and              
 the United States, as well as in magazines to reach these potential           
 visitors to all parts of Alaska.  He described the special Alaska             
 newspaper sections in major U.S. markets and promotes extensive               
 mail campaigns to motivate prospective visitors.                              
 Number 449                                                                    
 MR. BRANDON cautioned the legislators there would be a 50%                    
 reduction in funding under the Governor's budget, and he explained            
 this would virtually eliminate the national advertizing.  He said             
 it would mean that 66% of the U.S. household will no longer see or            
 respond to Alaska's broadcast advertisements, and the number of all           
 kinds of sales messages will decrease from 780 million to less than           
 85 million.  He quoted some people as saying the tourists will come           
 to Alaska regardless as to whether we advertize our destination or            
 not, but that is not true.                                                    
 MR. BRANDON explained coming to Alaska is not an impulsive                    
 decision, and it takes nurturing the idea, sometimes for years, to            
 make it become a reality.  He declared it a case of out of sight,             
 out of mind.  Without consistent advertizing travelers are not                
 reminded of Alaska, and there becomes no impetus to request                   
 information on Alaska for a vacation plan.                                    
 MR. BRANDON declared the tourism industry not only helps the state            
 diversify its economy, it also helps foster a greater understanding           
 of Alaska.  He said the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council is a key             
 component to the continued success of the tourist growth.                     
 SENATOR SALO questioned whether there would be assistance from the            
 Department of Revenue.                                                        
 MR. BRANDON said it is a complex issue, but he had been talking to            
 the Attorney General's office, the Department of Revenue, and the             
 Co-Chairs of Finance in both the Senate and House to come up with             
 a long term solution to a complex issue.                                      
 SENATOR RIEGER said he would hold the bill in committee, and stand            
 in recess to go to the Joint Labor & Commerce Committee.                      

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