The Missouri Tourism Commission named Stephen Foutes Director for the Missouri Division of Tourism this week.

“Tourism is a vital sector within Missouri’s economy,” Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe said. “It fuels jobs in communities all across our state and shows millions of people what a great place Missouri is to live, work and play.”

The Division oversees the state’s marketing efforts to attract visitors to Missouri and is housed within the Department of Economic Development.

“We’re excited to have Stephen lead the team at the Division of Tourism,” Commission Chair Scott Hovis said. “Stephen’s experience in the tourism industry and with the division will be an asset as we take a fresh look at developing Missouri’s tourism industry.”

Foutes previously served at the Division of Tourism as a travel guide and website editor in 2010, communications manager in 2012, and public relations specialist in 2015. Most recently, he was the Director of Marketing for the Missouri State Medical Association.

“This is an exciting time for the Missouri tourism industry, and I’m honored to be chosen to lead the state’s efforts in this rapidly-evolving sector,” Foutes said.

Missouri welcomed nearly 43 million visitors in fiscal year 2019, generating an estimated $17.7 billion. Over 304,000 Missourians are directly employed in the tourism industry.

For more information about the Division of Tourism, check out