State Budget Cuts To Affect Local Tourism

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COLUMBIA - With the summer vacation season kicking off this Memorial Day weekend, people will travel all across the state.  However, tourism in Missouri has a roadblock to face thanks to the state's proposed budget. In the current proposed budget the Missouri Division of Tourism stands to lose $400,000. Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau director Amy Schneider said the cuts will affect how the state advertises across the nation.

"For every dollar that the Missouri Division of Tourism spends, it brings in approximately three dollars of revenue for the state, so any budget cuts that hits the advertising is going to hit all of us," Schneider said.

Schneider said the effects will be felt in the near future.

Despite the cuts, Missouri Division of Tourism director of communications, Sarah Luebbert says this summer is projected to see a rise in visitors.

"Memorial Day we'll see about 34.8 million travelers and that is actually up about a half a million more than last year over Memorial Day weekend, and this is always a good indicator for the rest of the travel season," Luebbert said.

The state legislature approved the proposed budget earlier in May and is now waiting for Governor Nixon's approval.