January 22, 2015 North Dakota Tourism E-Newsletter

Keep up on the latest tourism industry news impacting North Dakota

January 22, 2015

Legislative Update
Travel Industry Conference April 20-22
Airline Passengers Surpass 1.2 Million
Turn off the Foghorn

Legislative Update

  • Tourism Day at the Legislature

Tourism Day at the Legislature, sponsored by TAP and the Destination Marketing Association of North Dakota (DMAND), is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include a hot breakfast for legislators and feature booths showcasing the tourism industry’s impact across the state. Everyone is welcome to attend even if you did not commit to a table.

  • How to Contact Your Legislators

 During a legislative session, a legislator can be reached at the State Capitol by leaving a message with the legislative telephone message center at (888) NDLEGIS (635-3447) or (701) 328-3373 (local). That number can also be used to obtain information on bills under consideration. A legislator can also be reached by mail or e-mail and address rosters are posted at http://www.legis.nd.gov/contact-my-legislators.


  • Bill Updates

Appropriations Bills

HB 1018 – The Department of Commerce budget is being considered by the Education and Environment section of the House Appropriations Committee. Terri Thiel and Julie Rygg testified in favor of the tourism budget increase proposed by the Governor. The additional $1 million would be one-time funding dedicated to increased regional U.S. marketing. The Governor also continued the $750,000 in one-time funding for large infrastructure grants and added $258,836 for expanded international marketing. TAP also presented member letters of support for the budget increase. The bill also includes a $2 million grant to be awarded to Fargo if it is awarded the National Special Olympics games. The committee will work on the bill Friday, Jan. 23, and it is expected to take some time in committee due to the size and complexity of the Commerce budget.
SB 2018 – The State Historical Society budget will be heard in Senate appropriations Friday, Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. in the harvest room. The budget includes needed FTEs and program support for the newly expanded museum.
HB 2019 – North Dakota Parks and Recreation's budget was heard last week in Senate appropriations. The bill includes $30 million dollars for park expansion and infrastructure needs across the state and includes a major expansion at Lake Sakakawea State Park and a new state park, which will be a day park south of Bismarck along the Missouri River. The bill also includes funding for the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center near Washburn and the International Peace Garden.
HB 1012 – DOT’s appropriation bill containing $5 million allocated to the special roads funds to improve roads leading to recreation sites was also heard last week.
HB 1009 – The State Fair’s appropriation bill was also heard and includes one-time funding to overlay the parking lot due to flood damage.

Outdoor Bills

HB 1158, HB 1224, HB 1252 and SB 2093 all deal with hunting and fishing regulations administered by North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Most just change  dates and may extend non-resident hunting seasons.

Tax Bills

SB 2056 – Contains many tax changes, including  a change that would eliminate airports’ authority to levy taxes for airport improvements.
HB 1150 – Would eliminate the sales tax exemption for Montana visitors.
SB 1243 – Would increase the transaction minimum for Canadians requesting a sales tax refund from $25 to $100 and requires Montanans to also apply for a tax refund.

Film Production Bills

HB 1420 – Would provide a production tax credit to production companies operating in North Dakota.
HB 1422 – Would provide funding for a staff person to promote the state as a production site to the film and television industry.

Tribal Tourism Bills

SB 2241 – Would establish a satellite office for the Department of Commerce on each reservation.  It would include a staff person from each division of commerce.
SB 2243- Would appropriate $6 million to the Department of Commerce to establish and administer a tribal tourism alliance.

To find the text or status of a bill you can enter the bill number at http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/64-2015/bill-inquiry.


Travel Industry Conference April 20-22

Get ready for the 2015 North Dakota Travel Industry Conference! This premier industry event will take place April 20-22 at the Holiday Inn Riverside, Minot. Keynote speakers include the renowned Roger Brooks, Susan Schneider, Mike McKinley and Berkeley Young. The agenda is shaping up to be informative, inspiring and thought-provoking.

The website is your hub to:

  • Get registered
  • Make a nomination for the Governor’s Awards for Travel and Tourism
  • Apply for a scholarship
  • Become an event sponsor


Airline Passengers Surpass 1.2 Million

More than 1.2 million passengers filed through North Dakota airports in 2014, according to numbers compiled by the state Aeronautics Commission. The total number or passengers arriving or departing totaled 1,240,618.
The number represents a 9% increase over the previous record set in 2013. The commission reports 75 departures a day to 12 nonstop airports, compared to 52 departures to five airports in 2007.


Turn off the Foghorn

There are blog posts out there that tell organizations to publish multiple times per day on their social accounts, or they'll "never get their message to rise above the noise." The pace of marketing emails seems to have picked up, too, as brands decide that their email list deserves more attention than their Zuckerberg-controlled brand Facebook Page (true, but who can keep up with MORE emails?). Click here to see how to stop the Madness.