Bill Establishing Policy on State Tourism Passed

Article excerpt

Monday passed a bill that would establish a state tourism policy.

Senate Bill 374 also establishes a Tourism Policy Council to implement the policy and review legislation. The council would consist of the governor, lieutenant governor, state treasurer, a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation and heads of other departments.

"The state tourism policy is going to make the state aware that tourism plays a vital economic role," said Janel Huff, assistant director of marketing services for the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.

The bill is going to increase the awareness that tourism is the second largest industry in Oklahoma, she said. The tourism policy in Senate Bill 379 sets the following goals:

- Promote the state as a tourism destination.

- Encourage the growth of tourism in the same manner as other industries.

- Develop the state's resources to enhance its assets and stimulate development.

- Establish a communications network between the state agencies that impact travel, tourism and recreation and encourage them to work together.

- Train the tourism labor force to increase its productivity.

- Encourage the competitiveness of the state's tourism businesses.

- Provide reliable public transportation systems and services between the principal tourism destinations and the main tourism generating markets. …