Why Advocacy Matters
If you have been watching industry news lately, you probably have heard that funding for the popular Pure Michigan tourism campaign has become a political football. A few weeks ago, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer line-item vetoed the entire state budget for the Pure Michigan campaign – $37.5 million, along with many other vetoes. The Governor hopes to continue negotiating with the legislature, but until that time – the future of Pure Michigan is uncertain.
We never want that to happen in Minnesota. The Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition has been advocating on behalf of tourism and hospitality since 2013 and is committed to ensuring our lawmakers understand and value the tourism industry and will support measures to protect and strengthen it rather than do it harm. Through our efforts, tourism is getting a seat at the table during important discussions at the state capitol and our voice is being heard. Lobbying initiatives on key issues and testimony to lawmakers from coalition members have been instrumental in securing funding for Explore Minnesota Tourism and the formation of the Major Tourism Events grant program.
The return on investment for each dollar spent on tourism marketing is $10 in state and local taxes. That is a powerful barometer for measuring success, but Minnesota is continually outspent in marketing by the competition who leech travelers away with budgets far exceeding that of Explore Minnesota Tourism. As an industry-led organization, the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition has made it our mission to elevate Minnesota’s tourism economy through activism, and our efforts continue year-round.
With encroaching competition and flat funding threatening our success, tourism needs more champions. It takes the support of you and everyone else who benefits from a thriving tourism economy in order to for us do this important work. Help us have a voice, and help your community prosper thanks to a vibrant tourism marketplace.
How Can You Help?
We are looking for tourism success stories to share with policy makers. If your community received a grant from the Major Tourism Events grant program, please send us local news articles about the event, a letter from the grant recipient sharing the success of the event, how the grant made it possible, or leveraged other local resources. We also would love to hear from you as to how Explore Minnesota funding benefits your community. Questions? Please contact us at [email protected] or Sarah Psick, [email protected]. We want to share these testimonials with the Governor and Legislature.
Will you support our mission with a contribution? If everyone gives a little, we will have a powerful presence at the capitol and the entire industry benefits. No matter the amount, we sincerely need your investment in tourism to keep a strong voice advocating for legislation that helps the industry grow. A supporting partner contribution form can be found at this link. Or, you can contact the MTGC office ([email protected]) and request an individualized invoice.
Thank you for your partnership in supporting tourism advocacy!
Anna Tanski, Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition President
Sarah Psick, Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition Lobbyist