INDIANAPOLIS—On Monday, the Senate approved Senate Resolution (SR) 26, a proposal authored by State Senator Richard D. Young (D-Milltown) that would urge the Legislative Council to establish a study committee to investigate the appropriate methods of improving Indiana tourism.

“Prior to the economic recession, Indiana had a ‘promotions’ budget of $5 million for encouraging tourism,” said Sen. Young. “Since the recession, surrounding states have increased their tourism marketing budgets, while Indiana has been the only state in the area to decrease their tourism budget.”

Sen. Young noted the success of Indiana tourism and how it could be used to combat the state’s stubbornly high unemployment rate. The sixth largest industry in Indiana is the tourism industry, with nearly 140,000 employees and over $3 billion being paid in wages. It takes only 382 visitors to the state to support one new tourism job in Indiana.

Indiana visitors have contributed $7.7 billion to Indiana’s gross domestic product while supporting over 186,000 jobs. They have generated over $2.1 billion in tax receipts and paid $561 million in Indiana sales tax. That equates to 8.5 percent of the total sales tax receipts in the entire state.

“It is clear that Indiana tourism has a major economic impact on the state, and I believe efforts to improve Indiana’s tourism appeal should be undertaken as soon as possible,” said Sen. Young.

The study committee will research how other states are funding their tourism marketing campaigns, determine the success of those campaigns, and conclude if Indiana could benefit from implementing similar strategies.

Sen. Young represents Senate District 47 which encompasses portions of Crawford, Dubois, Harrison, Orange, Perry and Washington counties. For more information on Sen. Young, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business, call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s47.

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