Area travel and tourism looks for boost


The bronze Frank Gotch Statue in Bicknell Park regularly draws visitors from out of town. Humboldt's Andy Milam wants to keep that going and growing, but says better promotion and marketing is needed. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Tourism in Iowa and Humboldt County is big business. If you don't believe it, in 2018, visitors to Iowa spent nearly $9 billion in the state and generated $517.5 million in state tax revenues. In Humboldt County the figure was $13.2 million, according to the Iowa Department of Tourism and the U.S. Travel Association.
But Andy Milam of Humboldt, director of the Western Iowa Tourism Region, says more funds need to be expended to promote Iowa's travel and tourism attractions. He said the $4.4 million figure the state spends is the same as it has been for a nearly a decade. Also, Milam is worried about a push to reorganize tourism in the state. He said 28 eastern Iowa Counties and major metros like Des Moines, Mason City and Council Bluffs, are trying to take over tourism efforts, led by Convention and Visitor Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations. Milam is worried that such a move will leave rural counties like Humboldt, Kossuth, Pocahontas and Palo Alto suffering. Read about the issue in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe and don't miss an issue by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

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