Fall is an important season for Indiana’s $7 billion tourism industry, which is continuing to emerge from the devastating impact of the pandemic. The Indiana Destination Development Corp. says increased funding will be important for the state to compete with much better funded neighboring states. IDDC Chief Executive Officer Elaine Bedel says the state’s approximately $4.5 million budget is a fraction of what neighboring states spend.
“We’re competing with Pure Michigan at $40 million, Ohio spending $35 million, Kentucky spending $50 million, Illinois spending nearly $90 million this year, so we are not in an opportunity to even compete with them,” said Bedel, who is leading efforts to make the case for increased funding to next year’s budget writing session of the Indiana General Assembly.
Bedel talked about the state of Indiana tourism on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
“This is an investment on our future,” said Bedel, who believes tourism can not only benefit communities large and small, but also help attract talent to the state.
Numbers from the IDDC from 2020 indicate the tourism sector in Indiana supports nearly 150,000 full- and part-time jobs.