JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin and Carthage leaders and state elected officials gathered for a legislative luncheon in Carthage today. The goal was to promote legislative action to get more funding for the tourism industry. Tourism directors say the state's tourism budget hasn't been adequately funded over the last several years.
The state is currently operating at a $13 million budget, while a fully funded budget would be at least $32 million every year. They say for every dollar spent on tourism $3 goes back to the state in revenue.
"Tourism really is a driver and every dollar that we can receive from a visiting tourist is a dollar that they don't have to take from their neighbor in order to establish their legislative agenda," states Katie Steele Danner, Director, Mo. Division Of Tourism.
Carthage CVB leaders also encouraged those present today to write a letter to Governor Jay Nixon to increase the tourism budget by $5 million.