This piece originally appeared in Route Fifty

State and local governments across the country are tightening their belts, and tourism promotion is often the first line item on the fiscal chopping block. Many state tourism, convention and visitor offices have found themselves caught in the budget crosshairs for the past year, most recently Florida, Texas and Missouri. Despite the view of some misinformed lawmakers, though, travel is serious business for state economies—and travel promotion is one of the best returns on public investment. 

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