INDIANAPOLIS - When the Indiana General Assembly voted to create the Indiana Destination Development Corp., it was described as a public-private sector corporation that would replace the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and breathe new life into the state’s tourism attraction efforts. And while tourism will remain a focus of the new group, its mission is expanding to include a stated priority of Governor Eric Holcomb: telling the Indiana story. IDDC Chief Executive Officer Elaine Bedel says branding and promoting the state can translate into real economic impact.

“Really (it’s about) telling Indiana’s authentic story to help businesses be attracted here, to bring talent and to retain our talent, to bring more students to go to colleges and universities here as well as visitors,” said Bedel, who adds the quasi-government nature of the organization will allow it to work closely with the private sector.

Bedel talked about the vision for the IDDC on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

The IDDC is modeled after the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which was created in 2005 to replace the Indiana Department of Commerce as the state’s lead economic development agency.

Effective, July 1, the IDDC will take over all functions of the Indiana Department of Tourism, which critics contend has been severely underfunded compared to neighboring states.

In addition to promoting tourism attractions like Indiana Dunes, the state’s first national park, the IDDC will explore ways to tell Indiana’s story, both inside and outside the state. 

In announcing his 2020 Next Level Agenda, Governor Holcomb identified joint branding and promotion efforts between the IDDC and private sector as a way to attract more jobs and more people to Indiana.