BEDFORD, Ind. (Dec. 20, 2017) – The tourism economy continues to grow in the Radius Indiana region, according to a newly released study by market research firm Rockport Analytics. The study shows visitor spending totaling $283.4 million, increasing $11.8 million from the previous year and a regional economic impact of $206.2 million.
The study compared tourism data during a two-year period for Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties and includes jobs in the industry directly supporting the visitor such as hotel accommodations, as well as in supply chain sectors like transportation.
“Tourism creates a broad variety of jobs in our region. Success in this industry is important to the people who live in our region and we believe it’s important that they directly see the benefits,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle. “It helps to relieve the tax burden of households in the region as well as benefit over 3,700 public school students.”
The Indiana Office of Tourism Development and Radius Indiana commissioned the study. It shows that the region’s tourism employment growth was over five percent in 2016 and is the seventh largest industry in the Radius Region.
“This report shows how important tourism is as an economic driver for the State of Indiana and that its impact continues to grow,” said Mark Newman, IOTD’s executive director. “We’re excited to see how tourism will continue to impact Indiana through future studies.”
Radius Indiana facilitates a regional tourism advisory council, and the group will use the study to create new initiatives that will support this vital part of the local economy. The group is currently exploring a regional tourism branding initiative that could create an identity for the region and surrounding counties in Southern Indiana.
“The data shows us that 73 cents of every $1 spent on tourism stayed in the local economy and saves our taxpayers about $375 per year in taxes. This savings is money that can be directly put back into businesses right here in the Radius region,” said Quyle.
Highlights of the study show Orange County had the largest amount of tourism spending for the region, as well as an increase in four of the five expenditure categories; Washington County recorded a 17 percent increase in retail sales during the study period.