January 31, 2008
THE ROLES OF THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS REGARDING TOURISM IN INDIANA AND NEW MEXICO
By: Julia Thomson-Philbrook, Legislative Analyst
You asked about the roles of the lieutenant governors in promoting tourism in Indiana and New Mexico.
In Indiana, the lieutenant governor oversees the Office of Tourism and Development. Previously, tourism was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce. The legislature created the office in 2005 (IC 5-29-2-1) to increase tourism and economic development in the state.
The lieutenant governor is the chair of the Tourism Council, whose members come from the public and private sectors. The council assists the office in the promotion of tourism, supervises the office, and makes budget recommendations. The lieutenant governor appoints the office director, who serves at her discretion. Further, the lieutenant governor is the public face of the office. She issues press releases, meets with convention visitor bureaus at state fairs, and attends the annual Hoosier hospitality awards.
In New Mexico, the lieutenant governor is not formally involved with the Department of Tourism. However, the department recruits the lieutenant governor to represent the state. For example, the lieutenant governor rode on a float to promote the state during the 2006 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. She will appear in an episode of 'Dinner: Impossible', a popular Food Network show, that features New Mexico's cuisine. She also appeared in a commercial promoting the state that aired on ESPN during the New Mexico Bowl game.