ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tourism professionals from across New York will be in Albany to urge lawmakers to maintain state funding for tourism marketing at its current level.

The Tourism Industry Coalition of New York State said more than 200 people involved in the tourism industry will meet with legislators Tuesday in an effort to keep $7.4 million in tourism marketing from being reduced in the 2011-2012 state budget.

The group representing 20 tourism-related industry organizations says effective tourism marketing and promotion can boost New York’s economy by bringing more visitors to the state. The group says visitors spent nearly $46 billion in New York state in 2009, generating about $7 billion in state and local taxes.

Tourism officials want to protect matching grants programs they say are vital to local tourism promotion agencies.

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