TRAVEL AND TOURISM MOVING TO WILDLIFE AND PARKS
Division of Travel and Tourism transfer to KDWP official; will be complete July 1
TOPEKA — On Jan. 26, Governor Sam Brownback submitted to the Kansas Legislature Executive Reorganization Order (ERO) 36 — which would transfer the Division of Travel and Tourism from the Department of Commerce to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP). An ERO becomes effective July 1 following its transmittal to the Legislature, unless within 60 calendar days either the Kansas Senate or the House adopts a resolution disapproving the ERO. Monday, March 28, marked the end of those 60 calendar days without any disapproving action from either legislative body, ensuring the merger on July 1.
Robin Jennison, Acting Secretary of Wildlife and Parks, noted that tourism plays a vital part in the state’s economy, particularly as the state recovers from the recession.
“I am especially gratified that legislators recognized the valuable role of tourism in our state and allowed this action to move forward,” Jennison said. “We are looking forward to the opportunities that will be created by merging the Division of Travel and Tourism team with this agency.”
Becky Blake, Director of Travel and Tourism added, “More than 31 million visitors spend nearly $7.2 billion annually and support 125,000 jobs in our state. This reorganization will allow us to more closely align our tourism assets and grow the tourism economy in a more strategic manner.”
All 13 Travel and Tourism staff members will move to KDWP, which will be renamed the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. The order also creates an Assistant Secretary of Parks and Tourism position and renames the position of Assistant Secretary for Operations to Assistant Secretary for Wildlife, Fisheries and Boating.