The Convention & Visitors Bureau is encouraging representatives of the travel and tourism industry to attend the 2013 Salute to Missouri Legislators from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Jan 23 at Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City.

The reception attended by about 600 people annually showcases the Springfield/Branson region before a statewide audience of lawmakers and executive branch officials, provides opportunities to interact with state officials and presents a unified message on legislative issues important to the region.

One of those issues is adequate funding for the Missouri Division of Tourism. The division promotes travel industry growth, which creates jobs, boosts tax revenue and supports economic development. More funding for the division means more tourism promotion resulting in growth of the state’s travel industry.

The CVB has the center display area in the ballroom this year and will utilize the larger space to emphasize to legislators and state officials the importance of tourism and why funding for the Division of Tourism is so important.

According to state legislation enacted in 1993, the Division of Tourism budget should be about $30 million. Despite the legislation, the division’s budget is only $13.2 million this year.

The impact of a lower budget is felt directly in Springfield. The CVB participates in the division’s Cooperative Marketing Program, a matching funds program for tourism promotion. As the division’s budget has been reduced in recent years, funding for the program has been cut resulting in less money available to promote Springfield as a travel destination. If the division’s budget drops much more, the Cooperative Marketing Program will likely be eliminated and the CVB’s ability to market the Springfield area would suffer.

The impact would be felt throughout the city. Less promotion would result in fewer visitors and that would mean loss of jobs, sales tax revenue and other revenue that helps the city’s economic well being.

The Salute to Missouri Legislators is sponsored by a coalition of organizations:

  • City of Springfield
  • City Utilities of Springfield
  • Greene County
  • Libraries and Arts Council Alliance
  • Missouri State University
  • Ozarks Technical Community College
  • Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Springfield Public Schools
  • Springfield Regional Economic Partnership

If you have questions about the reception, the CVB’s role in the event or how your presence would help, contact Susan Wade at or 417.881.5300, ext. 101.

If you plan to attend, RSVP to Emily Denniston at or call 417.862.5567.

Cost is $40 per person.