A report from the Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau says 4.3 million tourists contributed more than $520 million to the area economy last year. The bi-annual study also found that visitors spent more in 2011 compared to 2009. The bureau points to the Jehovah's Witness Convention, Frog Follies car show and youth sporting events as drivers of dollars.
The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau issued their bi-annual report on the economic impact of tourism for Evansville and Vanderburgh County. Since 1998, Certec, Inc. has conducted this study to quantify the amount of expenditures, employment and tax dollars generated by the tourism industry. It also identifies where visitors come from, what they do and how much they spend.
In 2011, Evansville and Vanderburgh County economy realized $523.6 million dollars contributed by 4.3 million visitors. This generated $153 million in total tax revenues, 6,110 jobs which paid $103.8 million in wages earned. The study's findings report the top four points of origin for visitors are Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee with notable activity from Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Colorado.
The typical visitor is most likely a college graduate, working in a professional or technical job or is retired. They usually stay one to three nights in a hotel and have visited Evansville before. They travel with 3.2 people in their party. In 2011, 80 percent of the respondents mentioned they used the Internet to make their travel plans – this is up from 67.3 percent of those questioned in 2009. The top activities were going to Casino Aztar, the Ford Center, shopping malls and local restaurants.
It should be noted that the number of tourists remained comparable between 2009 and 2011 but the economic impact and direct expenditures increased by 1 percent. There was also a 1.33 percent increase in industry wages paid. Another increase was the per person per day expenditure which increased from $93.41 to $99.51 by those visitors who stayed in hotels.
The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau uses this and other studies to measure the economic benefits of tourism for our community. They are also useful in identifying the demographics of our visitors which will be used in future marketing campaigns.
Source: The Evansville Convention & Visitors Bureau http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=55821