TOPEKA--Today, July 1, the Division of Travel and Tourism will officially transfer from the Department of Commerce to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The merger changes the agency's name to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and the name of the division to the Division of Tourism. The merger also:
• Establishes the new position of Assistant Secretary for Parks and Tourism; Linda Craghead was appointed to that new position.
• Abolishes the position of Assistant Secretary for Operations, held by Keith Sexson.
• Creates the position of Assistant Secretary for Wildlife, Fisheries and Boating; Keith Sexson was appointed to the new position.
All Division of Travel and Tourism employees will transfer to KDWPT, along with the division's funding. In early July, eight employees will move their offices to KDWPT's Office of the Secretary at 1020 S Kansas. Six other employees work in the Goodland Tourist Information Center, located on eastbound I-70 west of Goodland.
The phone number for the Division of Tourism will remain the same, 785-296-2009.
The Kansas Agritourism program, managed by Becki Rhoades, will also officially transfer to the agency on July 1. Rhoades moved to the Office of the Secretary on Friday, June 24. Her phone number is also unchanged, 785-296-1847.
Robin Jennison, KDWPT Secretary, is looking forward to the agency's added responsibilities. "This is a great opportunity for us to help make Kansas a real showpiece in the Midwest. I firmly believe the state has an enormous variety of opportunities for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts, alike. This merger just makes sense," he said.
Becky Blake, Director of the Division of Tourism, added, "Kansas has a wealth of unique and authentic experiences to share with the rest of the world. This merger will enhance our ability to develop and promote all of the state's tourism opportunities and expand the economic impact of this important segment of the state's economy."
For information about traveling in Kansas, visit the Division of Tourism website at travelks.com and for more information about KDWPT, visit the agency website at www.kdwpt.state.ks.us.