Does Governor Charlie Baker Hate Cape Cod? – Slashes Tourism Budget

budget cuts – Cape and Islands business leaders said Friday they were stunned by staggering cuts to tourism-related programs in Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Under the proposal, funding for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, which markets the entire state as a leisure-travel destination, is slated to drop from just over $14 million to a little over $6 million, and financial assistance to the state’s 16 regional tourism councils is set to drop from $5 million to $500,000.

“We were shocked,” said Wendy Northcross, chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and chairwoman of the Massachusetts Regional Tourism Councils. “Marketing works. Advertising works. To go backwards at this time doesn’t seem logical given the needs of the state.”

Is this the most short sighted move in the history of politics? Spending money on tourism marketing is one of the very few budget line items that actually creates a return on the spending. It’s an investment, not an expense. Imagine if someone ran a business this way? Let’s say you own a restaurant and you need to cut some spending, slashing your advertising budget is the last thing you would want to do. If anything you would want to increase marketing in order to increase revenue.

I guess seeing the big picture is just way too much to ask from our government though. God forbid they maybe cut expenditures that wouldn’t affect a major industry and the overall income of the state. I don’t know, maybe something like toll booth operators making $100K a year is a tiny bit more detrimental to the health of our economy than spending money on tourism marketing? If our fictitious restaurant had a dishwasher making six figures and we slashed our advertising budget instead of firing him, it would be out of business in 8 seconds flat.

Hey Charlie Baker, it takes money to make money. Business 101. Thanks for murdering Cape Cod though.

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