CA Travel Association Honors Ting for Protecting Local Tourism Promotion

For immediate release:

Ting (center) was presented his award by Misty Kerns (left center), Board of Directors Chair for CA Travel Association.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) was given the 2014 California Tourism Award for Excellence in Advocacy by the California Travel Association for protecting the right of businesses to assess themselves in order to fund tourism promotion and neighborhood improvements.

"We must nurture public private partnerships that create jobs and grow our economy," said Ting. "People flock from around the world to see California, especially my home town of San Francisco. The promotional investments from our hospitality industry help sustain nearly a million jobs. We couldn’t lose them to the vagaries of a poorly drafted initiative. No one voted for that."

At issue was the potential application of Proposition 26 of 2010, which requires two-thirds voter approval for all state and local fees. There was widespread concern that the initiative could apply to tourism marketing districts (TMDs) and business improvement districts (BIDs). These non-profit entities - such as San Francisco's Tourism Improvement District and the San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau - are voluntarily formed by businesses in partnership with local governments. The self-assessments on businesses affiliated with these districts finance marketing campaigns, tourist services, and neighborhood improvement activities like street lighting, street cleaning, landscaping, and security.

Ting's Assembly Bill (AB) 483 clarified that businesses can continue to organize and assess themselves without a ballot vote under the terms of Proposition 26 because the public does not pay these assessments.

“Without Ting’s leadership, these locally generated and controlled investments in our economy would have been in serious jeopardy,” said Misti Kerns, Chair of the Board at the California Travel Association. “Every dollar invested in tourism generates a remarkable seventy dollar return to our economy. We are thrilled to move forward with renewed confidence.”

200 million tourists visit California each year and spend $106.4 billion. This economic activity in our hotels, restaurants, attractions and small businesses supports 917,000 jobs and generates $6.6 billion in tax revenue.

AB 483 was sponsored by the California Travel Association and supported by the CA Restaurant Association, the CA Retailers Association, the League of CA Cities, and the CA State Association of Counties. Bay Area supporters included the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, the Hotel Council of San Francisco, Visit Napa Valley, and the City and County of San Francisco.

Contact: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019