Regarding your Feb 27 editorial about Washington’s lack of tourism funding — if you have to build an economy, tourism should be near the bottom of the list. It’s extremely cyclical, seasonal and dependent upon discretionary spending by out-of-towners.
Tourism provides no family wage jobs and few union jobs. The jobs are mostly part time with no benefits and don’t build the middle class. It puts demands on utilities, services and public safety resources.
It burdens taxpayers, in spite of motel/hotel taxes, and fools them into into paying for tourist-oriented destinations like TRAC and convention, sports, entertainment and aquatic centers.
Though the Gesa carousel was largely funded through donations, now they are asking for volunteers to run it and donations to pay for its upkeep. I mean, are we that hard up for local entertainment that we call going round ’n’ round fun?
Who really benefits the most? It’s the businesses and corporations that feed off the influx of tourists filling our beds, restaurant seats and retail shops, while our communities have to put up with them.
I'm all for a balanced economy, but tourism should be down the list. TRIDEC and law enforcement should know that.
Phil Church, West Richland