2000 Session

Budget Amendments - SB30 (Conference Report)

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Regional Visitor Centers

Item 548 #10c

Item 548 #10c

First Year - FY2001 Second Year - FY2002
Central Appropriations
Central Appropriations FY2001 ($6,000,000) FY2002 $1,500,000 GF

Page 374, line 48, strike "$40,250,000" and insert "$34,250,000".
Page 374, line 48, strike "$1,250,000" and insert "$2,750,000".
Page 376, strike lines 41 through 59.
Page 377, strike lines 1 through 7.
Page 376, after line 40, insert:
H.1.  Out of the amounts in this Item shall be provided $1,500,000 the second year from the general fund for the Virginia Tourism Authority to plan, develop, test, and implement a visitors technology program.  The purpose of the program is twofold:  (1) to encourage out-of-state visitors to vacation or visit the Commonwealth; and (2) to encourage visitors to lengthen their stay in Virginia.
2.  The Virginia Tourism Authority shall, in conjunction with the Visitor Service Facility Business Technology Advisory Committee, and appropriate state agencies, and representatives from local and regional tourism organizations, local governments, historic and recreational attractions, and the lodging and hospitality industries, develop a plan for the visitors technology program.
3.  The plan shall be submitted to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade and to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by December 1, 2000.  The plan shall include, but not be limited to, the policies defining state-responsible and nonstate-responsible start-up, equipment and maintenance costs; the schedule and costs for developing, testing, and implementing the program, including the purchase of technology software and hardware and internet connections to the Web site of the Virginia Tourism Corporation and its partners; the experiences of similar systems in South Carolina, Colorado, and elsewhere; and options to phase the implementation of the program.
4.  In developing the plan, the Authority shall be guided by these principles:  (a) The visitors technology program shall include state-certified local visitor centers and state welcome centers.  The program's focus is on technology and not on the construction of new facilities; (b) The program needs to be interactive with the capacity to offer ticketing and reservation services to attractions, hotels and restaurants across the state; (c) The program needs to have the capability to market Virginia attractions on the Internet; and (d) The program should permit hotels and motels to participate so that guests can make reservations and buy tickets through the hotels' computer systems."

(This amendment removes $4.5 million for the construction of regional visitor centers and directs the Virginia Tourism Authority with the assistance of others to develop a visitors technology program. The amendment includes $1.5 million for this purpose. The Authority is to present a plan to the General Assembly and to the Secretary of Commerce and Trade.)