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MARANA, Ariz. -- Marana is looking for new options to bolster tourism in the southern Arizona community.

Town councilors voted earlier this week to take the first step toward creating the community's own separate visitors bureau. Staff has been directed to contract for tourism promotion services.

The Arizona Star reports that the town has been on rocky terms with the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau for months.

If the town joined the Tucson bureau, it would pay close to $1 million in membership dues and lease payments, and the town would stop putting revenue from its lodgers tax into the general fund.

The town gets about $1.28 million from the tax.

Tucson Bureau CEO Brent DeRaad commended Marana for looking at ways to increase tourism, saying it would benefit the whole region.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

Associated Press,

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