Recession and ICVA and Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Letters and Opinion and Economy and Tourism & Hospitality and Government & Economic Development and Visitor Spending and Sports Business

Hospitality industry needs state support

November 17, 2008

I could not agree with [Chris Katterjohn's Nov. 10] commentary more. As one of those 200 or so who have met with Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association President Don Welsh, I am excited about the direction he wants to take our city's promotional efforts and the energy he brings to the job. I believe he is the right person at this time to take us to the next level, just as Bob Bedell and Bill McGowen did before him.

The hospitality community is one of the beneficiaries of the ICVA's success to make our city a destination for conventions, meetings, trade shows, and leisure travel. As the largest private-sector employer, hospitality is truly a cornerstone of our economy.

Our local political leaders from both parties have recognized that visitor spending is one of the important economic engines that drives a growing pie for central Indiana. The attractions and amenities that you cited improve the quality of life for everyone and help attract businesses and jobs in every sector.

Our next task is to convince state leaders that tourism does matter. At this difficult time in our economic life, tourism promotion and development should be high on the list of priorities for investment.

___

John Livengood
CEO
Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association
Indiana Restaurant Association

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