Experts in tourism marketing heard from Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell this week.
The Green Country Marketing Association held their annual meeting in Claremore this week and invited the tourism-focused Pinnell to serve as their keynote speaker.
Gathered at 320 On Main, Pinnell told the group, "I'm well aware that if we are not committing adequate dollars to our marketing efforts we're just screaming from the roof tops and not a lot of people are hearing us."
He outlined the state's need to allocate more money for tourism and marketing and praised Route 66 as an unbeatable Oklahoma attraction.
Another branch of tourism he hopes to see the state embrace even more, he said, is agri-tourism.
"Agri-tourism is big right now. Good luck getting a reservation at a farm-to-table restaurant, right? People in this country want to know where their food comes from," he said. "We have all the agri-tourism charm you could ever want, and we have it in every county in Oklahoma."
Jackie Stewart, executive director of Green Country Marketing Association, prior to the meeting, said: "There has been amazing growth in tourism in Green Country during these 54 years…Many tourist destinations have been created, adding greatly to the tourism draw to the area. The ever-growing number of visitors translates into a steady growth in tax revenue from the industry."
Stewart added, "Today, tourism is a major state industry, contributing $8.9 billion to Oklahoma’s yearly economy, and in Green Country that figure is $2.6 billion.”