Karickhoff’s bill to improve state tourism ceremonially signed by governor
STATEHOUSE (June 13, 2019) – State Rep. Mike Karickhoff’s (R-Kokomo) legislation aimed at expanding Indiana’s tourism industry and encouraging economic growth was ceremonially signed into law today at the Statehouse by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Karickhoff worked with Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch on the legislation to establish the Indiana Destination Development Corp. as a joint public-private agency that will replace the current Office of Tourism Development, which Crouch oversees. The new corporation will assume all the tourism office’s previous responsibilities, including marketing the state domestically and abroad.
“Tourism is a booming industry in Indiana that supports thousands of Hoosier jobs, and has the potential to grow even greater,” Karickhoff said. “However, the state is currently limited in how it markets assets and obtains more resources. We want to ensure state leaders and tourism professionals have the freedom to work collaboratively to promote Indiana, and direct appropriate resources to attract more visitors.”
The new agency will also be able to raise its own funds. Karickhoff said allowing investors to provide financial support for the corporation could help make the tourism industry more competitive on the national level.
In 2017, nearly 80 million people visited Indiana, generating nearly $13 billion in visitor spending. Additionally, the state collected $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue, saving Hoosier households an average of $561.
“We know how wonderful the state of Indiana is, and we want to share that with the rest of the world,” Crouch said. “With the increasing amount of international and direct national flights into Indiana, we are at a great spot to really take our tourism industry to the Next Level.”
The Indiana Destination Development Corp. will be led by a board of seven members, including the governor or their designee, the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. or their designee, and five members from the private sector tourism industry appointed by the governor.