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Sunday, December 21, 2008

DCED Won't Reconsider Tourism Funding Distribution

Rural tourism agencies see cut in state $$$
Many tourism agencies in rural areas are taking a hit this year when it comes to state tourism money based on a new formula that has been developed, while other tourism agencies are seeing dramatic increases.

In July this year the Tourism Protection Act of 2008 was approved by the legislature. A new formula was developed to determine how much money tourism agencies receive, but it was unknown when it was approved exactly how much individual agencies would receive.

When the numbers came out based on the formula, which is based on hotel tax revenue (25 percent), the agency's eligible expenses (25 percent) and an evaluation of the proposed use of the money (50 percent), the agencies in northwestern Pennsylvania didn't fare well for the most part.

In a letter to acting DCED Secretary John Blake, Scarnati said, "Many rural communities throughout the 25th senatorial district rely on tourism to sustain their economic viability and for DCED to dramatically slash funding to them during these difficult economic times is incomprehensible."


The new formula reduces the Potter County Visitors Association by 61 percent and other rural TPA's would have their allocations cut nearly in half. Other TPAs are set to receive funding increases of almost 800 percent, Scarnati said. Clearfield County would receive an increase of 131 percent.

The DCED doesn't intend to reconsider the distribution of the money, Rowley said.
"We didn't know what the outcome would be, but the changes favor regional marketing and can't go back on the process," he said , adding the majority of the counties were very happy with the outcome.

Read this entire article reported by JoAnn Seltzer, Tri-County Sunday,in the Courier Express.

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