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Travel industry brings $13.1 billion to state

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by Christen Jackson

SBJ Contributing Writer

The Missouri Division of Tourism has developed the 1999 Travel Kit to show tourists why the Show-Me State is the place to spend their travel dollars.

The Travel Kit includes the 1999 Missouri Travel Guide, Calendar of Events and Official Highway Map.

"Together, these publications make it easy to maximize your vacation fun and help minimize the costs," said Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson, who chairs the Missouri Tourism Commission.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Missouri, the travel and tourism industry contributed $13.1 billion to Missouri's economy during fiscal year 1997, representing an almost 8 percent increase over the previous year.

"We get so many benefits from encouraging folks to travel to Missouri. For instance, this kind of economic activity translates into $535 million in state tax revenues that's almost a 10 percent increase over the previous fiscal year," Wilson said.

This is revenue that is largely coming from outside the state, Wilson added. Almost 70 percent of all Missouri's domestic trips originated from out-of-state. Illinois and Kansas residents accounted for the largest share, with 2.1 million and 1.8 million, respectively. These states are followed by Texas and Arkansas.

In Missouri, St. Louis and the Branson area are the two top destinations for tourists. Thirty-two percent of all domestic travel expenditures happened in the St. Louis region, followed by the Branson area with 30 percent. Travelers in the Kansas City region accounted for 19 percent of travel expenditures, while the Lake of Ozarks accounted for 11 percent.[[In-content Ad]]

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