Kansas Governor Sam Brownback hosted the Governor's Ecotourism Summit Saturday at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center in the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area in Barton County.
"Tourism overall is the third-largest industry in Kansas, based on jobs, and has an economic impact of more than $5.4 billion," said Governor Brownback. "Kansas has unique ecology and wildlife, and by starting this discussion, we can capitalize on those assets for the benefit of the state."
The summit focused on non-consumptive, nature-based tourism activities featuring the state's wildlife and natural landscape such as wildlife-watching, birding and nature photography, and how to grow the state's tourism portfolio.
"Our state has some of the best outdoor activities, and I appreciate the chance to have this conversation about how we can best spread the word about Kansas," said Secretary of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Robin Jennison
Ted Eubanks, Founder and President of Fermata, a leading ecotourism consulting firm gave the keynote presentation about the natural resources in Kansas that can attract tourism. Following the presentations, Governor Brownback led a group discussion to solicit suggestions about how to increase ecotourism in Kansas.
At the conclusion of the summit, Governor Brownback toured the Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area.