NANTUCKET ISLAND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESS RELEASE
Tourism Cuts Will Hurt Everyone
Think you're not in the tourism business? Think again.
Whether you are in construction, work in a bank, teach or work in our hospital, every one of your customers, suppliers, friends,and neighbors is economically touched by tourism. Even if you are retired, a healthy visitor industry affects your quality of life in terms of higher property values and improved municipal services.
Tourism is among the world's top employers. On Nantucket island, it directly employs more than 1,000 people, generates $5.5 million in local taxes and $4.6 million in state taxes, and $157.8 million in spending.
The Baker administration's proposed budget for FY16 slashes funding for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT)to below 50% of this year's allotment. The 16 Regional Tourism Councils (RTCS) across the state would receive only $500,000 among them compared to the $5 million they shared after budget cuts this year.
This makes little sense when tourism creates such tremendous revenue. The monies granted by the state government are indeed an investment: on Nantucket, for every dollar granted in FY14, the state alone received back $16.84. Where else do you get that return on your investment?
In addition, each dollar going to any RTC must be matched at least one-for-one with private dollars raised by that organization. By law, they can receive no town funding...and must remain completely independent.
Where does the money we receive go? The Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce, as an independent business organization, works within an organized Marketing Committee to stretch this funding. Moving into the digital world, you will see Nantucket promoted internationally in PATH stations in Montreal, Toronto, in Times Square in NY, Logan Airport, and currently we have a representative on a sales mission to Japan. And there is so much more...last year providing Nantucket with 153 million ad impressions, up 93% in the last 4 years.
We are fortunate that our legislators have consistently demonstrated that they recognize the important role tourism plays. They have given our Chamber staff hope they can restore tourism funding in their FY16 budget, but that is no guarantee for our many local businesses at risk.
Our local legislators need our help in reaching out to their colleagues. The Governor's proposal will be discussed by the Ways and Means Committee on or around April 1. We need to speak up...call, write or email the members of this committee. Tell them tourism matters!
For more information, call the Chamber at 508-228-3643 or go to https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J39