Almost a year has passed since Indianapolis hosted the Super Bowl, but the benefits the city’s convention and tourism industry received from the exposure should be felt for years to come.
That’s the forecast from Visit Indy, the agency formerly known as the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, which was set to hold its annual meeting Wednesday afternoon.
“2012 was a benchmark year for Indianapolis’ tourism industry,” Visit Indy CEO Leonard Hoops said in a prepared before the meeting. “But with our convention center expansion opening and the Super Bowl now a part of our past, our industry and civic leaders must work even harder to maintain our tourism momentum.”
Among Visit Indy’s highlights for 2012:
— booking 770,000 "future" hotel room nights, besting its goal of 750,000. Future room nights are hotel stays booked for upcoming years. The agency has set a goal of booking 780,000 future room nights this year.
— logging 3.1 million “lead” room nights, topping its goal of 2.4 million. “Lead” room nights are taken from organizations that have expressed interest in hosting a convention in the city but have not officially booked it.
— attracting 8.2 million overnight leisure visitors, up from 7.5 million in 2011.
— drawing a record 7 million visits to its Web site.
More than 1.1 million people poured into downtown Indianapolis for Super Bowl festivities in the 10 days leading up to the big game, held Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The game and surrounding festivities produced a direct economic impact of $176 million, according to a Rockport Analytics study commissioned by the Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee.