Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper has appointed state Sen. Al White as director of the Colorado Tourism Office.

A Republican from Hayden, White has been known as a champion of the tourism industry for more than a decade.

“Tourism is a great tool to create jobs that have a positive impact on the economy,” he said in a press release.

In Colorado, the tourism industry generates about $6 billion in annual revenue. In the Pikes Peak region, tourism generates about $1 billion in revenue, annually.

While in the general assembly, White served 10 years on the Colorado Tourism board of directors. He has been vice chair of the Business Affairs and Labor committee, served on the Education Committee, the Joint Budget Committee, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, the Water Resources Review Committee, and was also assistant majority leader.

“Senator White has been one of tourism’s strongest allies in the General Assembly. Colorado is lucky to have someone with such passion and talent leading this effort,” said Assistant Minority Leader Bill Cadman.

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A U. S. Army veteran, White has been an advocate for economic development, job growth, limited government and recreational usage and resource management.