Chairman Schilz and Natural Resources Committee Members:

The Nebraska Hotel & Motel Association, on behalf of our members, would like to express our support for LB 329. We believe that this bill will create an environment for increased tourism activity from both in-state travelers and visitors from outside of Nebraska.

Tourism represents the third largest economic driver behind agriculture and manufacturing in Nebraska. LB 329 would open opportunities for visitors to travel to some of the hidden gems and attractions in the rural areas of the state through argitourism. We believe this would pay long term dividends for Nebraska’s tourism industry and the entire state.

Agritourism and ecotourism are two areas in the travel industry that have increased in popularity as travelers look for new experiences. Nebraska is well positioned with its diverse geography to become a destination for hunting, outdoor activities and experiencing a real farm or ranch. The possibilities across the state are endless for visitors.

The lodging industry along with restaurants and other travel related services are very dependent on the tourism sector to remain profitable. The opportunities created by LB 329 for tourism in rural areas of the state are exciting for our members located outside of metropolitan areas which may have limited access to convention business. Increasing the tourism activity in rural areas would be a boost to the local economies.

The Nebraska Hotel and Motel Association encourages the Committee to advance LB 329.