Come to PA

According to Chris Barrett, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau, state spending on tourism should be brought back up to it’s 2008-09 budget.

Under Governor Rendell’s 2009-10 budget, tourism spending will drop by 38 percent from $35.3 million to $20.0 million beginning July 1. Mr. Barrett argues that “…(t)ravel and tourism is one of those key sectors where modest investments — even in tight budgetary times — will produce large returns in economic growth, tax revenues and sustainable jobs.”

Ultimately, Barret argues that the state will see reduced state revenue which in turn will force Pennsylvania households to pay $575 more a year in taxes to maintain current levels of government services.

Is more spending on tourism the solution? According to Government on a Diet: Spending Tips 2009, tourism related projects included $30,000 for a marketing study to establish a spa and a $212,500 loan for a robotic milking machine.

Has this made Pennsylvania a more attractive state for tourists, or is this just wasteful spending?