Joplin visitors bureau says ‘tornado tourism’ report inaccurate

JOPLIN | The director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau says they are not actively conducting a “tornado tourism” campaign.

Director Patrick Tuttle said the CVB made copies of a Joplin map outlining the tornado zone and showing recommended routes of travel to view the zone for motels and restaurants to give when charter bus tour groups or motorists ask for directions to the zone and have questions about the damage.

He said that reports that the CVB has plans to conduct bus tours of the tornado zone are inaccurate.

There has been strong public reaction on social media such as the CVB's Facebook page and others criticizing the CVB or the idea of “tornado tourism.”

Tuttle said the comments sprang from a story reported in Springfield that made it appear that Joplin was promoting tourism of the area of town destroyed by the May 22 tornado and reporting that guided bus tours would start in the spring.

| The Associated Press