The National Tour Association (NTA) has entered the debate on the future of the Nevada Commission on Tourism and is working to assist its members in Nevada to maintain full funding and independent staffing for the Commission. Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has proposed a 60 percent cut in funding for the Commission and is calling for a redirection of room tax and a merger with the Commission on Economic Development. Legislators are now considering the issue.
“Currently, at least 272 NTA companies regularly send tours to Nevada,” said NTA President Lisa Simon. “That's a very high volume and the source of tens of thousands of visits throughout the state, resulting in phenomenal economic impact.”
In a letter sent to the Committee to Save Nevada Tourism, Simon stressed the importance of the Nevada Commission on Tourism in increasing travel to the state. “We can speak first hand about how the Nevada Commission on Tourism has developed increased travel to your state over the last quarter century, because of its involvement with the National Tour Association,” she said.
NTA held Conventions in Reno in 1985 and 1995, and will hold its Annual Convention there this year, November 14–18. In 2011, the Convention will be in Las Vegas. Both these Conventions draw travel professionals from 40 countries, which will continue the growth of packaged travel to Nevada. The NTA estimates that it will bring more than $3 million dollars to the city during the actual five-day event. Also, with hundreds of tour operators attending each NTA Convention, the hosting city and Nevada receive long-term economic residuals when these companies bring their customers back to the state.