WASHINGTON -- State tourism offices will spend a record $686
million promoting tourism this fiscal year, a 5.6% increase
compared with 1999-2000, according to the Travel Industry
Association of America's 2000-2001 survey of U.S. state and
territory tourism offices.
Illinois will spend $61.1 million to promote its tourism this
fiscal year, more than any other state, according to the survey.
The Illinois budget, which will be up 10% compared with the prior
year, puts it just head of Hawaii, which allocated $61 million.
Rounding out the top five state tourism budgets were Florida (at
$59.8 million), Pennsylvania ($45.9 million) and Texas ($32.2
Delaware had the largest tourism budget increase, an 85% jump to
TIA said the large budgets were arguably justified because,
according to William Norman, TIA president and chief executive
officer, "For many [states], the travel industry is their first-,
second- or third-largest employer, and a major source of new
Most of these tourism budgets will be used for advertising, TIA
said. For example, Hawaii has allocated some $11.1 million of its
budget to domestic advertising; Texas will use $10.9 million.
States will collectively spend about $49.7 million on
international advertising, TIA said. But despite the large sums,
the association added, tourism marketing remains a challenge.
"Competition is fierce," said Norman. "Each of [the states]
competes with one another -- not to mention with other countries
and other discretionary activities -- for visitors' dollars."