Bedford-based Radius Indiana says visitor spending in the eight-county region rose 13 percent in 2015 compared the previous year. A study by Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics says visitor spending totaled nearly $272 million and generated $198 million in economic impact in southwest central Indiana.
The Radius Indiana region includes Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties. The study, which is the first-ever tourism impact analysis for the region, says nearly 5,000 residents are directly employed in tourism, which makes it the seventh-largest industry in the region.
"Tourism is not only good for the local economy in the Radius Region, but also has many other benefits for the community," said Jeff Quyle, chief executive officer of Radius Indiana. "A booming tourism industry also helps create a healthy job market and puts dollars into our school systems. Moreover, it helps to relieve the tax burden of households in the region."
Quyle says 73 cents of every dollar spent on tourism stayed in the local economy. Radius says a regional tourism advisory council will use the study in an effort to create new initiatives to grow tourism in the region.