Legislators warned about tourism readiness

Oklahoma legislators were cautioned by Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell during an interim study on Oklahoma tourism they should be prepared for increased tourism once the state spends its money attracting it.

“If we are going to talk about how great this industry is and we’re going to talk about how great our 77 counties are, we better be ready for the people to show up because when we market the state, people do come,” Pinnell told a House Tourism Committee hearing. “When you build it, they do come. That’s how this works. When you invite people somewhere, they end up showing up. And that goes back to, again, the marketing dollars that we have.

Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who also serves as the Secretary of Tourism and Branding, spoke before the committee about the future of Oklahoma tourism. Pinnell said tourism is the third largest industry in the state and generates between $700 million and $800 million annually in state and local tax revenue.

“But we’d better be ready for it, and we’d better have the hospitality that is needed so that when they do show up, they come back again and again and again and drop those critical, invaluable sales tax dollars that we have across our 77 counties.”

State Rep. Brian Hill, R-Mustang,  held the interim study before the House Tourism Committee on the growth of tourism within Oklahoma, its economic impact and the potential future of the industry.

The study also examined how legislative appropriations to the Oklahoma Dept. of Tourism and Recreation are used to advertise each of the six travel regions within the state. Each travel region is home to unique attractions, a variety of natural features and state parks.


A video of Hill’s study can be viewed at https://okhouse.gov/Video/Default.aspx.

Source: OK House release