The tourism industry had a $16.5 billion economic impact on Missouri last fiscal year. Roughly $5 billion of that was pumped into the Kansas City metro area, thanks to tourists like Mike Claymon.
“Great barbecue, lots of good restaurants and bars. Good climate, not super cold like Minnesota or somewhere,” he said.
The numbers don’t come as a surprise to Ronnie Burt, president of Visit KC.
“From our dining, from our arts and culture, from our sports teams, the number of events we have that go into the Sprint Center. Those are all things that contribute to economics and tourism,” Burt said.
Nearly 42 million tourists visited Missouri last fiscal year. Many of them staying on average of 2 ½ days in the Kansas City metro area. Burt expects even larger numbers next fiscal year.
“I don’t think it’s one thing that people come to Kansas City for. I think it’s the variety, the diversity people can experience that’s making us very unique and different,” he said.
The state budget for next fiscal year includes an additional $3 million to expand marketing efforts. The goal is to attract even more visitors in the future and to encourage people like Mike Claymon to come back.
Kevin Holmes can be reached at Kevin.Holmes@KSHB.com