Local tourism leaders aren’t qualified

To the Editor:

In response to Mr. Robert Jumper's letter in the Feb. 19 edition and the Jackson County TDA, I’m wondering how many of those who serve on that board even have a clue as to the big picture of national tourism. How many belong to national tourism organizations where the exchange of ideas (marketing and development) are discussed at numerous meetings throughout a year? Some of the best groundwork for a local TDA can be had without spending thousands of dollars when knowledge of the bigger picture and common sense can be more important.

Until someone can show me the qualifications of those currently serving on the TDA board, I will continue to think they don't have a realistic knowledge of the tourism industry and therefore must spend thousands of dollars to be told how, who, what, where, and when tourism marketing should be best spent.    

One comment about the Haywood County TDA and the letter in the same issue of the SMN: citizens must be educated about the fact the accommodation owners are not paying the tax. They are collectors of the tax paid by those who stay in the accommodations and in turn pass it on to the TDA via the county. The local taxpayer contributes nothing for tourism development, yet they reap benefits.

David Redman


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