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State tourism officials happy with funding boost

The Gateway Arch is the most-visited tourist attraction in Missouri.

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's top tourism official says he's happy with the amount of money the governor wants to spend on attracting visitors to the state.

Gov. Blunt wants to add $2.9 million to the $18 million already designated for next year's tourism budget.

Blaine Luetkemeyer, head of the state Divison of Tourism, says the extra funding will enable them to better compete with other states for visitors.

"The extra 2.9 is going to be necessary to implement new programs, to go into new markets, and just to maintain the existing amount of revenue we have that's generated off the same number of visitors," he said in an interview last week.

Luetkemeyer says 80 million people live within a day's drive of Missouri. He lists St. Louis as the most visited region, followed by Kansas City, Branson & Springfield, and the Lake of the Ozarks.


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