SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Every travel- and tourism-related company
in California will be mailed forms in March to determine whether
they will contribute to a proposed public-private partnership that
expects to raise $7.5 million a year for California tourism
An estimated 300,000 businesses -- including travel agencies,
tour operators, hotels and motels, car rental firms, local
sightseeing companies, restaurants and attractions -- will receive
the forms over a period of several weeks, starting March 3, said
John Poimiroo, director of the California Division of Tourism.
The forms, which will be mailed by the state tax collection
agency, will include a toll-free information number.
"We expect thousands of calls," Poimiroo said at the California
Conference on Tourism.
The forms are a necessary step in determining who will vote on
the referendum, set for June and July, of the state's travel and
Those voting will either give the go-ahead to the proposed
California Travel and Tourism Commission or kill it.
Similar in concept to private- sector commissions set up by the
beef, milk and cheese industries, the commission would assess
qualifying travel and tourism companies $450 per each $1 million in
sales per year for a four-year period.
The private industry's California Travel Industry Association
(CalTIA) long has fought for more tourism promotion funding to
compete more effectively with Florida and Nevada, which spend
millions of dollars more in advertising and are drawing visitors
away from California.
The forms will determine what percentage of a firm's revenue is
from travel and tourism to and within California.
Travel and tourism revenue is defined as those funds derived
from people traveling 50 or more miles from home, other than for
CalTIA representatives said much care was taken to ensure that
only those companies that would benefit from California tourism
promotion would be assessed.
Travel agencies and tour wholesalers are exempt if less than 20%
of their gross revenue is derived from California travel.
An agency, for example, that specializes in Disneyland and San
Diego and has more than 20% of its business income to those and
other California destinations would fall into the assessment pool,
However, most California agencies and tour wholesalers are not
expected to participate, because a high percentage of their
business is out-of-state travel, he said.
For businesses other than agencies and wholesalers, exemptions
are available if less than 8% of their gross revenue is from travel
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