State tourism panel lacks members

A state advisory panel on tourism is lacking appointments from the governor almost a year after the law that created it took effect.
Associated Press
Sep 17, 2013
The law instructs Gov. John Kasich to appoint nine members to the TourismOhio Advisory Board by late November of last year.

The panel of tourismreliant members will help the state’s development department and its tourism office market Ohio.

The vacancies on the panel were among the issues brought before an Ohio House committee that is reviewing the state’s new tourism marketing program, called TourismOhio.

“Witnesses from numerous trade associations and businesses stressed the importance of having a fully functioning TourismOhio Advisory Board in order to provide guidance to and support the efforts of the Office of TourismOhio,” said state Rep. Mike Dovilla, the chairman of the House Committee on Policy and Legislative Oversight.

Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the governor asked the state’s development director in July to help with the appointments, and he’s confident the slots will be filled soon.

“As always with these board picks, it’s far more important to find the right pick than to shoehorn warm bodies into there for the sake of checking a box,” Nichols said.

The governor’s appointees must come from a variety of tourism-related fields, including convention and visitors’ bureaus, special events and festivals, the lodging and restaurant industries, and the state’s attractions. The head of the state’s new tourism office also gets a seat, along with the chief investment officer of the state’s private economic development entity, JobsOhio.