Missouri has set a new tourism record with 41.7 million people visiting the state in fiscal year 2016. During a trip to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Governor Jay Nixon (D) says that’s a 3.2% increase in visitors – breaking the previous record of 40.4 million in fiscal year 2015. The industry has also set a record of more than $13 billion in state tourism-related spending and a record $16.5 billion economic impact in Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon

“Let’s take a second to compare that to where we started back in 2009. That’s a 34% increase in tourism’s total impact in the eight years that we’ve worked together. I say worked together. Everyone has worked together to make sure the marketing, the sales and the efforts make a difference,” says Nixon. “The credit for these record-breaking numbers and achievements go to our tourism partners, the private businesses out there, marketing but most importantly delivering, changing, improving what they do, making investments with their dollars in this world we live in to improve the sites and places that we have.”

Nixon says he firmly believes Missouri is one of the best destinations in the country.

“Visitors to our state strengthen local communities and support hundreds of thousands of jobs, resulting in a multi-billion industry here in Missouri,” says Nixon. “From the great outdoors, to bustling metropolises, to unique getaways in between, there’s something for everyone in Missouri.”

State parks have also set a record of more than 19 million visitors in 2016.

According to the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, direct tourism-related jobs have also jumped to more than 300,000 in 2016.