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Governor Emphasizes Importance of Tourism to Missouri’s Economy

JEFFERSON CITY – This week, Governor Mike Parson urged members of the state’s tourism industry to continue their work to promote Missouri as a travel destination, an effort that helped pump more than $17 billion into the state’s economy last year.

Governor Parson spoke at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Columbia where several hundred leaders from city and county tourism organizations gathered to discuss strategies to bring more visitors to the Show-Me State.

“Tourism continues to grow in Missouri and for good reason,” Governor Parson said. “We have a perfect mix of urban and rural attractions – scenic beauty, outdoor adventure, award-winning parks, first-rate museums, fantastic music, great food, and more – and the money visitors spend when they come to enjoy everything our state has to offer is essential to our economy.”

Missouri saw more than 42 million visitors during fiscal year 2018. More than 300,000 Missouri residents are directly employed by tourism-related businesses.

During the conference, hosted by the Missouri Division of Tourism, eight awards were announced recognizing individuals and organizations for outstanding work to attract visitors to the Show-Me State.

Award recipients include:

  • Marketing Campaign Award: Explore St. Louis;
  • Innovator Award: City of Warsaw;
  • Pathfinder Award: Legends & Lanterns, St. Charles;
  • Navigator Award: Jeff Houghton, The Mystery Hour, Springfield;
  • Rising Star Award: Melissa Mohler, Clay County Tourism;
  • Hospitality Award: Greg Maxon, St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau;
  • Emory Melton Legislative Award: Sen. David Sater, Cassville;
  • Hall of Fame Award: Gary Figgins, Show Me Missouri magazine.

A division of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Missouri Division of Tourism works to promote the state as a destination for travelers and increase the number of tourists and travel-related spending in Missouri.