In an effort to respond to an evolving industry, the state's leading tourism trade organization is changing its identity. The Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus is now called the Indiana Tourism Association. It is expanding to groups including hotel management companies, operators of tours and attractions, as well as small business owners. Carrie Lambert will continue to serve as executive director of the rebranded organization. She has been with the association since January. During an interview that will air this weekend on Inside INdiana Business Television, she says the new name better defines the organization's mission. June 5, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The state's leading tourism trade group has a new name, a new executive director and new plans for promoting the economic value of tourism businesses in the state.

Responding to changes in its industry and its membership, the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus (AICVB) has changed its name to the Indiana Tourism Association (ITA). 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 percent of every $1 spent in Indiana’s tourism economy remains in the state to support local businesses.

For more information, visit www.IndianaTourismAssociation.org.

Indiana Tourism Association Backgrounder June 2014

Mission

The Indiana Tourism Association advocates the value of tourism in Indiana’s economy and supports the best practices of its destination marketing organizations.

The ITA is the trade association that supports tourism investment and promotion as economic development in the state. It 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. For more information, visit www.IndianaTourismAssociation.org.

Number of Members

63 (52 Destination Marketing Organizations and 11 Affiliate & Industry Partners)

Leadership

Executive director: Carrie Lambert

Board officers:

President – Karen Niverson, Marion-Grant County Visitors Bureau Vice President – Mike McAfee, Visit Bloomington Secretary – Mary Walker, Visit Richmond/Wayne County Treasurer – Jo Wade, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette Past President – James Wallis, Visit Indy

History

Founded in 1981 as the Association of Indiana Convention and Visitors Bureaus. Changed name in May 2014 to Indiana Tourism Association.

Legislative Platform

During the 2014 Indiana legislative session, the organization asked Indiana legislators to support:

• Innkeeper’s Tax – Investment of tourism tax dollars exclusively in tourism marketing and development. Consistent enforcement of laws for collection and remittance of innkeeper’s tax on all types of paid lodging across the State. Exemption on Innkeeper’s tax for stays over 30 days only if the same individual is fulfilling the reservation.

• Online Travel Companies – Tax collection on the entire gross retail hotel rate, not just the wholesale rate. Distributing proceeds from OTC settlements and/or judgments back to original innkeeper’s tax jurisdiction.

• Collaborations and Partnerships – Tourism marketing, development and consolidation initiatives that encourage voluntary partnerships as allowed by existing law, and oppose involuntary consolidation.

• Competitive Funding – Funding for statewide marketing and promotion that allows Indiana to compete regionally.

Source: The Indiana Tourism Association

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