Tourism officials in Texas are decrying funding cuts made by the statelLegislature and approved by Gov. Greg Abbott as part of the official state budget.
As The San Antonio Express-News reports, state lawmakers slashed the tourism budget in half this year, dropping funding levels from $68 million down to $34 million.
Tourism leaders worry the cuts could cripple the Texas economy and stifle job growth. Tourism is one of the largest industries in Texas, and officials insist the industry requires as much attention as other enterprises.
The state of Colorado may provide a cautionary tale on the perils of slashing tourism funding. In 1993, the Centennial State shut down its travel promotion program as a cost-saving measure. Four years later, Colorado had lost $134 million in tax revenue and seen its share of the U.S. vacation market plummet 30 percent.