The Indiana House of Representatives voted in support of legislation co-authored by District 74 State Representative Stephen Bartels of Eckerty to increase state tourism and its economic impact.
Bartels says House Bill 1115 would establish the Indiana Destination Development Corp. as a joint public-private funded agency to replace the Office of Tourism Development. The corporation would assume all the office’s responsibilities, and be tasked with marketing and attracting more visitors to the state.
Bartels says Indiana has the ability to grow tremendously in the tourism industry, and with this legislation would be able to generate more strategies for economic growth. He says he believes the public-private partnership will allow for creative thinking and an innovative vision to further promote Indiana tourism.
According to Bartels, funding for tourism development would no longer be solely a state responsibility. The new corporation would raise its own funds to revitalize the marketing of Indiana travel and help the industry become more competitive on the national level.
Tourism in the Hoosier state is a $12 billion industry, which Bartels says has a huge economic impact on job creation and quality of life. State tourism is responsible for 5 percent of all Hoosier jobs. Bartels says it is crucial that the state market their assets and obtain more resources to continue attracting visitors.
The Indiana Destination Development Corp. would 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.
House Bill 1115 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.
Bartels represents House District 74, which includes portions of Crawford, Dubois, Orange, Perry and Spencer counties.