Tourism in this state is flat – at least for the first six months of the year. Tourism officials blame high gas prices and a lack of support by the Legislature. A research administrator for the Missouri Division of Tourism says high gas prices have cut the number of weekend tourists and tourists coming to Missouri from other states. The State Legislature cut the tourism budget, which slashed tourism advertising. The division spent $3.8-Million on advertising through June, compared to $4-Million a year ago. Hotel occupancy across the state is up less than one percent. The number of people calling the state’s visitor hot line and the Web site for maps and other tourism information fell more than 30 percent. Tourism generates $13.4-Billion a year, the state’s second largest industry, only behind agriculture.
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