Bill Could Revamp Tourism Approach

Posted: Updated:
Michael Karickhoff is the author of the bill. Michael Karickhoff is the author of the bill.

A bill passed Tuesday by the Indiana House would change the way the state approaches tourism. House Bill 1115, authored by Representative Mike Karickhoff (R-Kokomo) would create the Indiana Destination Development Corp., a joint public-private agency to replace the existing Office of Tourism Development. The bill is the result of a study by the Indiana Tourism Task Force, which was established in 2017.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Karickhoff said the group was tasked with studying how the tourism industry can best impact and improve tourism throughout the state. The study included input from industry experts from hotels, restaurants, attractions and more that identified what the state is doing well, what it could do better, and what opportunities are in place to improve tourism statewide.

"Tourism is a big deal but across the board, nationally, we only get a very small slice of the tourism pie," said Karickhoff. "They came with the recommendation to change the Indiana Office of Tourism Development into a quasi public-private agency."

Indiana already has agencies that fall under that category, including the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the Indiana Housing Authority. Karickhoff says, if approved, the Indiana Destination Development Corp. would assume all of the IOTD's responsibilities and be responsible for marketing and attracting more visitors to the state.

He says the corporation would align the state's dollars with private dollars, increasing collaboration and communication.

"Businesses and communities throughout Indiana are experiencing tremendous economic growth thanks to a boost in record tourism from both in-and out-of-state visitors," Karickhoff said. "To continue this momentum, input from businesses and tourism professionals would help Indiana provide the state’s tourism industry the support it needs and ensure resources are distributed appropriately."

The Indiana Destination Development Corp. would be led by a seven-member board of directors, which would include the governor or their designee, the president of the IEDC or their designee, and five members from the private sector tourism industry appointed by the governor. If the bill is signed into law, the transition to the new organization would not take place until July 2020.

The bill comes shortly after the IOTD released its annual report, which showed record tourism numbers for the state. The report said total visitor spending reached $12.7 billion, creating $9 billion in economic impact. Indiana saw 80 million visitors in 2017 and tourism generated $1.4 billion in state and local taxes.

House Bill 1115 passed the House by a unanimous vote. The bill now heads to the Indiana Senate for consideration and Karickhoff says he expects more bipartisan support.

You can view the full bill by clicking here.

Karickhoff said the group was tasked with studying how the tourism industry can best impact and improve tourism throughout the state.
  • Perspectives

    • Ahh…Yes! Turning a Hot Mess into a Cool Breeze

      "Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them," is attributed to Einstein over 75 years ago. This still holds true, particularly in challenging communications. Many people address conflict at the level it was created by rehashing and building more evidence for their ‘side’ of an argument. Repeating a position tends to intensify the separation of people.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering will now be named for Fred Luddy for his $60M gift. (photo courtesy James Brosher/IU)

      $60M Gift to IU, Second Largest in School History

      An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.

    • POET ethanol co. announced in Aug 2019 it was closing the plant in Cloverdale. (photo courtesy: POET)

      Cloverdale Ethanol Plant Closes

      South Dakota-based POET LLC, the nation’s largest biofuels producer, is moving forward with a plan to shut down its biorefining plant in Cloverdale, leaving 50 Hoosiers without jobs effective Friday. The company tells Inside INdiana Business that it is not making any changes to the plans announced two months ago. 

    • Purdue Global Now Offers Analytics Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field of data analysis are projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years. Acting upon that data, Indianapolis-based Purdue University Global has launched a new Bachelor of Science degree program in analytics. 

    • The multi-year road project stretched from Bloomington to Indianapolis.

      I-69 Road Project Update

      The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled three public meetings for next week to update the community on the I-69 Section 6 road project.    Section 6 is an approximately $1.5 billion new interstate project stretching from Martinsville to I-465 in Indianapolis.

    • (Image of downtown Shelbyville courtesy of Mainstreet Shelbyville Inc.)

      Shelbyville Unveils Major Downtown Redevelopment

      The city of Shelbyville is announcing what it calls a major downtown redevelopment project to boost overall quality of life. The project plans feature green spaces, increased parking, market-rate housing, and infrastructure for public entertainment and community events.