Senate Bill 137
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
Rep. Dorsey Walker
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE TOURISM ADVISORY BOARD.
This Act is a result of the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee's review of the Tourism Advisory Board ("Board"). First formed in 1981, the Board has served in an advisory role to the Delaware Tourism Office, Division of Small Business, and the Department of State. The Board's primary purpose is advocating for and promoting tourism in Delaware. Its duties include researching and studying matters appropriate to best support the Delaware Tourism Office functions. The Board was once heavily involved in providing the Tourism Office with advice and support. By 2013, however, the Tourism Office's need for the Board's advice and support decreased, as the Tourism Office's staffing and funding structure were improved under the Delaware Economic Development Office. Now under the Division of Small Business, the work of the Tourism Office is captured in the Division's annual report, which has not referenced the Board for at least the last 5 years. The Board's only official act since 2018 was a letter to the General Assembly to support the inclusion of short-term rentals under the State's Public Accommodations Tax. Over the last 10 years, the Tourism Office has run a successful tourism program without the advice or support of the Board, including winning prestigious industry awards, launching marketing initiatives, holding workshops to support the tourism industry, and releasing the latest Value of Tourism publication in 2019. For these reasons, and with the support of the Tourism Office, the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee concluded that, although the Board once served an important role in tourism in Delaware, the Board is no longer meeting its statutory duties or fulfilling a state need, and that the Board should be terminated. This Act therefore terminates the Tourism Advisory Board.