Tourism Trade Group Changes Name, Expands Membership
Press release from Indiana Tourism Association
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Responding to changes in its industry and its membership, the state’s leading tourism trade group has changed its name to the Indiana Tourism Association (ITA). Formerly the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus (AICVB), the group will continue to expand its membership to include not only convention and visitors bureaus, but attractions, hotel management companies, tour operators, small-business owners, tourism-related associations, vendors and others.
“We changed the name for two reasons,” said Carrie Lambert, executive director of the Indiana Tourism Association since January. “First, many of the destination management organizations in the state have changed their names and dropped the ‘convention and visitors bureau’ terminology to become more consumer-friendly – think Visit Indy, Visit French Lick/West Baden and Visit South Bend/Mishawaka. Second, our group is the private-sector representative in the tourism industry, so we’ve changed our name to reflect our membership.”
Funded primarily by innkeepers taxes collected at the local level, Indiana’s destination management organizations leverage these county dollars and return $15 in state and local taxes for every dollar spent. Statewide, however, tourism funding has been reduced significantly. The ITA will continue to focus on how to elevate the perceived value of this industry in the state..
ITA’s role is to advocate for tourism investment and promotion as economic development in the state. It educates communities and leaders on tourism’s economic impact and provides programs that emphasize high standards in tourism bureau operations, professional development and government and community relations. Through these programs, the ITA enhances tourism industry development and the quality of life for both visitors and residents.
Lambert added, “Tourism is big business in Indiana, and tourism entities are key partners in communities throughout the state. Everything they do to help develop destinations for visitors is good for residents. One of member mottos certainly rings true, ‘Great places to live are great places to visit.’”
In 2012, Indiana welcomed 71 million total visitors. Those visitors spent $10.1 billion in Indiana. An estimated 76% of every $1 spent in Indiana’s tourism economy remains in the state to support local businesses.
For more information, visit www.IndianaTourismAssociation.org.