Gov. Eric Greitens is withholding $10 million from the Missouri Division of Tourism’s FY18 budget. The budget that goes into effect July 1 was slated to be $20.5 million this year.
The impact to the state’s tourism marketing organization remains to be seen but there is no doubt it will be devastating to MDT’s ability to promote travel to Missouri if the governor doesn’t release the funding, and that will have a negative impact on the tourism industry and economy.
The withholding also will likely have a huge impact on the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau’s ability to place advertising that promotes the city as a travel destination. The CVB stands to lose up to $430,000 from MDT’s matching funds program that provides a significant amount of the CVB’s advertising budget.
According to a funding formula established by legislation in 1993, the division’s budget should be about $41 million. The performance-based funding formula was extended by the legislature in 1998, 2007 and 2013, however, the division’s budget has been below the legislated amount since 2007. The legislation sunsets in 2020.
We will keep you posted on this important issue as we learn more.