The tourism industry is very proud of the accomplishments in the 90th General Assembly this year, as two of the three primary goals of the Iowa Travel Industry Partners (iTIP) were addressed. We wish to thank Governor Reynolds and the Legislature for continuing the historic funding that brings prosperity to placemaking and creative marketing of our communities. iTIP’s stated goals entering the 2023 session were:
- Support the enactment of iWILL (Iowa Land & Legacy) for water quality initiatives that include funding for tourism and quality of life components.
- Support Iowa’s current earliest school start date of August 23 to allow the tourism industry time to generate revenue to pay for education.
- Tourism experienced a record year by receiving over $50.70 M in appropriations in 2022. Over $30.5 M of that was new funding to be used for the creation of new tourism resources and bolster current programming. iTIP will ensure those appropriations are deployed appropriately and maintained in the FY24 budget.
These appropriations made by Iowa’s legislature will grow Iowa in both urban and rural communities. Thank you to Governor Reynolds for signing the bills for these historic programs that will increase tourism. Many of the tourism programs live within the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF). The proposed RIIF budgets in both the House and Senate were passed with bipartisan support.
The newest program created from the 2023 RIIF budget is a state funded Destination Iowa program. The Destination Iowa Fund is established for the purposes of providing grants to eligible applicants for the following types of projects: Economically significant projects that increase tourism opportunities; development and enhancement of outdoor recreational opportunities; and projects that contribute to quality of life in rural communities.
The current Destination Iowa program enacted in 2022 was funded by federal American Rescue Plan Appropriations. This program, managed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), granted funding of $115 million to 46 projects that activated over $480 million in total investment for the state. The Legislature understands the power and good this program is doing for the state’s economic development and wanted to ensure that momentum could be continued.
Iowa Travel Industry Partners (iTIP) is the leading statewide association of the tourism and hospitality industry. The association will continue to keep a pulse on legislative priorities and policies that affect Iowa’s tourism industry and advocate for what is best for the industry.
Iowa Travel Industry Partners (iTIP)
CEO / President, Catch Des Moines
iTIP Board of Directors President
CEO / President, Visit Quad Cities
iTIP Advocacy Committee Chair