The May 23 Viewpoint supporting county funding of the Maui Visitors Bureau was omnipotent in its omissions. The article implied the $3,350,000 gift in 2012 from the county taxpayers netted $3 billion in visitor industry revenue. It didn't mention the $2,906,436 MVB gets from the state, $1,804,864 spent promoting Maui by the Hawai'i Tourism Authority (all tax dollars) or the estimated $250 million-plus spent by the visitor industry advertising itself.
It is that kind of misinformation and spin that causes me to continuously protest the county taxpayer gift to MVB.
The Viewpoint writer said Maui taxpayers get a 1,000-to-1 return on their gift to MVB. Ridiculous. Oahu taxpayers get an infinite return because they give their visitors bureau exactly nothing.
The Viewpoint writer praises the value of the Visitor Industry Charity Walk that raised $555,000. True and wonderful. I participate regularly and was the fourth-highest fundraiser out of 2,500 this year, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the MVB.
The visitor industry income is 6 to 8 times larger than the Maui County government income. The Maui visitor industry benefits directly from the MVB function and the Maui visitor industry should financially support the MVB, not taxpayers.