Kokomo Touts Gains From Tourism

Posted: Updated:

The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau says a new study suggests the city's travel and tourism sector had an economic impact of nearly $120 million last year. Kentucky-based Certec Inc. conducted the study, which also ties 1,400 jobs to the industry. November 18, 2014

News Release

KOKOMO, Ind. - The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau has released the findings of an economic impact study on tourism and travel conducted in 2013 - and the results are positive.

The study by Certec Inc. found that visitors to Kokomo and Howard County contributed $117.5 million to the local economy in 2013, a 3.3 percent increase in travel and tourism spending during the study period. The area hosted more than 1.2 million visitors in 2013. Of every ten dollars spent by visitors, seven went towards food and beverage, shopping, and lodging purchases.

In addition to revenue from out-of-town guests, Howard County residents contributed an additional $16.4 million in direct spending to the local tourism industry, which generated 215 jobs for the area.

"Tourism impacts all sectors of the local economy by creating new jobs, supporting area businesses, and increasing demand for goods and services related to travel and hospitality," says Charlie Sparks, President and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. "This uptick in visitor traffic, including business travel, positively affects our entire community: over 1400 jobs and nearly $26.3 million in wages in 2013 can be tied to the tourism and travel industry in our area. This makes it imperative for the Visitors Bureau to continue promoting Kokomo and Howard County as an ideal destination for tourists, conference and event organizers, and pass-through travelers."

"Kokomo and Howard County's rich historical significance contributes greatly to our appeal as a destination," adds Sherry Matlock of the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau. "As the site of the nation's first automobile and numerous other inventions, our museums are very popular. Kokomo's role in the Indiana Gas Boom and as a hub for glass manufacturing generates a lot of interest, as well as popular summer events such as the Haynes-Apperson Festival and the Taste of Kokomo. The area has unique offerings for all kinds of visitors."

Howard County's historical background will serve the area well next year: Kokomo will host the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology's 2015 Preserving Historic Places conference in April 2015.

The economic impact study was conducted by Certec Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based firm specializing in destination research and market analysis.

About the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau

The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau strives to attract corporate and public tourism to Kokomo and Howard County through the promotion of the area's many attractions, amenities, and historical significance. The Visitors Bureau facilitates group visits, festivals and events, corporate meetings, sports tournaments, and personal visits for individuals and families, while also providing programs and information to engage current residents. The Visitors Bureau is a division of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance. To learn more, visit www.VisitKokomo.org.

Source: The Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau