Governor Jay Nixon announces Missouri's tourism is on the rise, with a record 40.4 million visitors in 2015's fiscal year.
During that time, visitors spent more than $12.4 billion and supported more than 297,000 jobs. Joplin is a solid contributor to the rising numbers.
Patrick Tuttle, director of Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau explains that Joplin is capitalizing on being a day-trip destination, as well as a hub for sporting events and Route 66 events.
"Our focus is to generate hotel nights, or visits that are three, four, five hours or longer or greater because that's when they're going to start hitting our restaurants, hitting our attractions, hitting our retail, that which really generates the revenue that the state is talking about," Tuttle said.
Route 66 alone brings in nearly 12,000 visitors each year. Tuttle explained that several large tours are in the works, including eager visitors from New Zealand.
"It may not be one single location that people want to go to, they want to connect it. They want to be able to go several different things, so we focus on the history, we obviously focus on Route 66, you know our connection to I-44 and I-49 is great to get people off the highway and spend time in our neck of the woods," Tuttle said.
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