Study Highlights Tourism in Clark, Floyd Counties

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Clark and Floyd counties say visitors pumped more than $245 million into the area economy. A study using data from 2012 also shows the industry supports 5,400 jobs. January 24, 2014

News Release

Visitors spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on tourism-related activities in Clark and Floyd Counties in 2012 according to a study commissioned by the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau.

Rockport Analytics, a national leader in global market research, conducted the study as part of a state-wide look into the benefits of tourism according to the Convention and Tourism Bureau's Executive Director, Jim Epperson who said the 2012 statistics are the most current numbers available from reporting agencies.

"We wanted to get some solid data on the impact tourism is having on the community, and Rockport Analytics was the firm that could provide that information," Epperson said. Epperson noted that the firm was involved in a state-wide study on the impact of tourism and specifically calculated data for Clark and Floyd Counties.

"The data show that 80 cents out of every dollar spent on a tourism-related category stays in the community," Epperson said. "That's a remarkable return to the local economy." The study shows that $245.3 million was spent by visitors which reflects an increase of 1.3 percent in inflation adjusted spending. "That real growth increase is very respectable in our recovering economy," says Epperson.

Spending by visitors to the two counties supported more than 5,400 jobs in the two counties in 2012 of which 4,444 were directly employed in the tourism sector. "You need to add into those numbers 468 jobs that are indirectly involved in tourism and 489 which are jobs induced by tourism activity," Epperson says. Those jobs resulted in $116 million in income to individuals and small business proprietors according to the study data. "In addition to the hotel and restaurant industry, tourism indirectly supports jobs in professional and business services, health and social services, real estate, finance and insurance," Epperson says quoting the Rockport Analytics report.

Visitors also generated a huge amount in taxes to all levels of government. In total, Epperson says, $58 million in taxes was generated of which $11 million was collected in property taxes to help support the local tax base. Other taxes went to the state and federal governments.

"Tourism is the sixth largest employer in the two counties," says Epperson. He notes that approximately six percent of all jobs in the two counties are tied to tourism.

If Clark-Floyd tourism did not exist, each of the 21,111 households in the two counties would have to pay an additional $468 per year in taxes to maintain current state & local tax levels the study points out. Hypothetically speaking, the report says, revenue collected from tourism in Clark-Floyd is sufficient to support 2,874 Indiana public school students. "Those are really profound numbers," Epperson stresses.

"We are working to refine our marketing message and better show the relationship between the efforts of the Bureau and the impact of tourism on our communities," the Bureau's Executive Director says. "We are forging even better working relationships with our tourism partners to help maximize the benefits of tourism to the region.

Source: The Southern Indiana, Clark-Floyd Counties Convention and Tourism Bureau