§5B-2I-6. Tourism Promotion Fund; use of funds.

(a) There is continued in the State Treasury the special revenue fund known as the Tourism Promotion Fund created under prior enactment of §5B-1-9 of this code.

(b) Moneys deposited in the fund each year shall be used solely for marketing, direct advertising, business development and public relations promoting travel and tourism within the state or the state’s image and brand identity at the discretion and direction of the secretary of the Department of Tourism. “Direct advertising” means advertising which includes, but is not limited to, television, radio, mailings, newspaper, magazines, digital marketing, including the Internet and social media, and outdoor billboards or any combination thereof. Any balance remaining at the end of any fiscal year does not revert to the General Revenue Fund, but shall remain in the fund for expenditures in accordance with this section.

(c) Effective July 1, 2017, the Tourism Advertising Partnership Program and all related legislative or procedural rules shall cease, except as necessary for the Tourism Advisory Council to settle, finalize and conclude all outstanding advertising grants or other financial obligations of the Tourism Advisory Council respecting funds in the Tourism Promotion Fund previously approved, expended or obligated by the Tourism Advisory Council as of the effective date of this article pursuant to §5B-2I-7(e) (2) of this code and be replaced by a cooperative advertising program to be created and established by the Department of Tourism, under and pursuant to §5B-2I-4 of this code, to offer, facilitate and allow participation in the department’s advertising and marketing campaigns and activities, to state agencies, departments, units of state or local government, private tourism enterprises and other persons, entities or private enterprises, including, without limitation, convention and visitors’ bureaus. The secretary of the Department of Tourism shall establish and publish a fee schedule, which shall include a match of state funds to program participant’s funds, for participation in the cooperative advertising program.