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Letters, Feb. 22

Support Travel Ashland

At the Feb. 16 Ashland City Council meeting, Travel Ashland of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce presented their annual Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) grant report and made their request for the next grant cycle. This letter is in support of that request.

Since 1982, the Ashland Chamber has received funding from the city for tourism promotion and serves as Ashland’s Destination Marketing Organization. Travel Ashland is fiscally responsible and does a fantastic job promoting tourism and bringing visitors to Ashland. To grasp the extent of their work I would highly recommend reading their report at https://www.ashland.or.us/SIB/files/Chamber_FINAL.pdf.

I’m writing this letter of support as some people would like to cut funding for Travel Ashland and allocate funds elsewhere. I think it is important to understand the depth and scope of Travel Ashland services and what it accomplishes each year with grant funding. Chamber staff work collaboratively with local lodging, restaurants, cultural organizations, recreation and wine industry businesses to ensure all aspects of our tourist economy are being met. They are the liaison with Travel Oregon and Travel Southern Oregon, host regional, national and international travel operators and writers, develop new programs, and oversee target marketing research. The importance of Travel Ashland receiving these funds cannot be over emphasized.

The Ashland Chamber is well respected throughout the state and works diligently every day to make Ashland a great place to live, work, visit and play. Please join me in supporting Travel Ashland.

Mary Gardiner, Chamber board member


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