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Legislation Will Provide Incentives for Private Groups, like Visitors Bureaus, to Team Up with Local Governments, Not for Profits, and Private Companies to Create World Class Tourist Destinations

Recession Has Made States and Local Communities Cut Back on Essential Services that Support Tourism, Like Park Upkeep; Schumer Says New, Innovative Approach Needed

Schumer Stands At Lake Placid/Essex County Convention and Visitors Bureau to Highlight Bill's Potential for Regio

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer unveiled a proposal to boost New York's tourism industry, one of the largest drivers of the North Country's economic growth. Schumer's bill, the Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act (TRIP Act), would work to increase U.S. tourism through the creation of a grant program that would bring together government and the private sector to improve parks, build tourism infrastructure and market tourist destinations. Importantly, the legislation will benefit communities that don't have huge budgets for tourism promotion, like communities in the North Country. 
Standing at the Lake Placid/Essex County Convention and Visitors Bureau, a prime example of an organization that could benefit from passage of the legislation, Schumer made the case that encouraging further investment through publicprivate partnerships in places like the North Country will help local landmarks stay open and allow New York's tourism industry to remain an economic engine.
"The TRIP Act will help improve the region's already great tourist attractions and provide critically needed funding to keep the visitors, and their dollars, coming," Schumer said. "Creating jobs has got to be our number one priority and focusing on tourism is one of the most effective ways of doing that here in Essex County and throughout the North Country."
The Travel Regional Investment Partnership Act or TRIP Act works to boost the U.S. tourism industry all while taking into account the fiscal challenges that confront states and the federal government. If passed, the legislation would set up a program in the Commerce Department to award grants to local tourist destinations that would allow them to build infrastructure, make improvements and market the destinations. The program would bring together the public and private sector by allowing local tourist attractions to partner up with private partners like a local Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or local government to pool their resources. The joint plan would then be presented to the Commerce Department where it would be judged for funding against other projects in a competitive process.
The program would allow the Commerce Department to provide a selected project with a matching grant of up to $1 million. Communities in New York will likely be well positioned to compete for these grants since the state already has robust tourism infrastructure and hundreds of potentially interested private investors. The legislation was introduced by Senator Mark Begich (DAK). Schumer is an original cosponsor. 
Tourism is New York's second largest industry, producing over $660 billion in economic activity every year. The North Country's tourism industry is similarly robust. The industry also represents an incredibly cost effective investment for the state. Passage of the TRIP Act will only mean continued growth for the tourism industry in Essex County, the North Country and the entire state.
The Lake Placid/Essex County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a perfect example of an organization in New York that could benefit from passage of the TRIP Act. Under the law, the Convention and Visitors Bureau could partner with a local tourist destination and create a firstclass business plan that would boost the local attraction by improving its infrastructure or investing in new ways to market it.
Schumer added, "Investing in tourism is one of the most costeffective ways to boost New York's economy I'm absolutely committed to doing everything I can to get this legislation passed and making sure that places in the North Country are in the front of the line for these grants."