The Business Council supports this legislation that amends the economic development and state finance law to create a specific account for the licensing revenue from the “I Love NY” brand.
Tourism in New York State is a huge industry and provides our economy with a much needed influx of visitor spending, tax revenue and jobs. The “I Love NY” logo was first created in the 1970s in conjunction with the state’s advertising campaign to promote tourism and has since become an iconic logo known around the world. The “I Love NY” logo can be found on a variety of souvenirs and novelty items including T-Shirts, posters, mugs and most recently a perfume. The licensing revenue currently goes into the general fund with no guarantees that it will be used to the benefit of New York State tourism.
This legislation would create the Tourism Economic Development Fund in which all revenue from the licensing and leasing of the “I Love NY” brand would be deposited. The money and accrued interest from this fund would be made available to NYS Department of Economic Development for the sole purpose of reinvesting in the state’s tourism programs. The state’s appropriation for tourism marketing is well below other comparable state’s budgets and is at a level that barely maintains current programs and operations. Tourism industry advocates have fought for years to increase the level of funding to properly market New York and our unique destinations to the rest of the country and to international travelers; with the creation of the Tourism Economic Development Fund there will be a definitive revenue stream to ensure the state is able to do that.
For these reasons The Business Council supports this legislation.