A recently-released study commissioned by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development says the tourism industry set a record in visitor spending in 2017. The report from Pennsylvania-based Rockport Analytics says total visitor spending reached $12.7 billion, creating $9 billion in economic impact. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch said tourism is an economic development tool for the state because 72 cents of every tourism dollar spent in a community stays in that community.
Crouch says Indiana is in a great place. "We lead the country in advanced manufacturing. We have the second fastest tech sector growing in the United States and we’re number one in the Midwest and fifth in the country for our business environment. Now you take that and you couple that with the amount of investment that’s been made in our Regional Cities (as well as) the investment that we just announced through our Stellar Regional designees, those investments that we’re making in quality of life in Indiana just speaks to what we’re about and that is what attracts people to Indiana."
The number of visitors to destinations throughout Indiana increased to 80 million in 2017. The report also says Indiana tourism generated $1.4 billion in state and local taxes, supported nearly 200,000 full-time jobs and added $9.8 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.
Crouch says the tourism industry in Indiana has seen growth for seven consecutive years. She adds the recent appointment of Misty Weisensteiner as director of the IOTD will continue that growth.
The study used data on Indiana visitor spending from multiple sources, including the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel & Tourism Office. You can connect to the full report by clicking here.