Dems: Tourism grows economy, improves quality of life

June 17, 2016
By

Summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy all that Iowa has to offer.

 

Our great quality of life is bolstered by the arts, culture and recreation. These opportunities and amenities are important to local communities. They attract families and young professionals to make Iowa their home, create jobs, draw business investment and boost tourism.

 

Travel and tourism have a huge impact in Iowa, with spending growing faster than the national average in recent years. In 2014, travelers generated more than $8 billion in spending and supported 66,500 Iowa jobs.

 

The Legislature’s investments this year should help continue that trend, while providing great things to do, see and learn. We’re preserving and enhancing Iowa’s history, culture, arts and recreation with:

  • $16 million for Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) (HF 2454). Iowa’s popular REAP program enhances and protects the state’s natural and cultural resources. Since 1989, the program has provided millions to projects in Iowa’s 99 local counties. Learn more at www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/REAP.
  • Improved Historic Preservation Tax Credits Program (HF 2443), which help rehabilitate historic buildings and revitalize communities big and small throughout the state. Learn more at www.iowaculture.gov/history/preservation/tax-incentives/state-tax-credit.
  • A new initiative to enhance Iowa’s economic development, create recreational and cultural opportunities, and improve natural resources (SF 2308). Iowa communities will have more chances to bring in events with regional and national appeal, such as NCAA sports, U.S. Olympic Trials, professional golf tournaments, NASCAR and Special Olympics.
  • Improvements to Iowa parks, fairs, trails, waterways, and unique local attractions and events that make Iowa a great place to live, work and play (SF 2324, HF 2454).

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