As an industry, tourism should not be subsidized by the government. The private sector profits by it, so they should be doing and paying for their advertising.
The argument that "all Alaskans" benefit from tourism doesn't hold. Those of us not directly involved in rendering services to visitors do not benefit from their interest in Alaska. However, we have guests who spend the obligatory tourist dollar on postcards and souvenirs, go on sightseeing or fishing trips, and stimulate the local economy simply by eating and drinking. On an extended outing they may even spend a night or two in a B&B or hotel.
My point is that our guests represent a big percentage of tourism and are attracted to Alaska by means other than the media.
If someone chooses to entertain a business that depends on tourism, they should consider how many B&Bs, gift shops, etc., the present economic or even political situation will bear and not speculate on how much more business might be attracted by the government advertising for them.
Please keep in mind that we, the people, meaning all of us, are the government at least when it comes to paying the bill.
Judy Humphrey, Kenai
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