A study analyzing the economic impact of tourism in Johnson County shows an annual increase in tourism spending. Our partners at the Daily Journal report tourism brought more than $341 million into the county’s economy last year, up from about $256 million in 2017 when Festival Country Indiana, the county’s tourism agency, was established.
Festival Country Indiana says the study’s findings are indicative of its measurable successes since its formation. An economic impact study conducted in 2013 showed that the economic impact of tourism declined .5% year-over-year.
Festival Country Indiana Executive Director Ken Kosky says the economic impact represents an 8.4% annual spending increase each year.
“What that showed is if you don’t invest in tourism marketing and tourism product development, you’ll continue to lose market share,” Kosky said.
The study, which examines data from 2021, was primarily conducted by researching tax and spending data in the county, as well as through a series of in-person interviews with tourists. The study was conducted by Kentucky-based Certec Inc.
According to Kosky, guests visiting the county come mainly from within Indiana, and most out-of-state visitors are coming from neighboring states: Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. The study shows that 40% of visitors stay one to three nights, while 30% visit for a day trip.
According to the study’s interviews, most people visited the county because of attractions and activities. Top attractions include Mallow Run Winery, Historic Downtown Franklin, Rascal’s Fun Zone and Apple Works. Visitors also reported visiting nearby Indianapolis attractions, such as the zoo and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.