Tourism generated $4B for city last year, study says

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A new study says the tourism industry in Indianapolis had an economic impact of nearly $4 billion in 2011, a 10-percent increase from the previous year.

The study was released Thursday by Visit Indy, the city agency formerly known as the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.

The study also shows the number of visitors—defined as someone who stayed overnight or traveled more than 50 miles to the city—grew 10 percent last year, to 22 million.

Full-time equivalent jobs supported by tourism grew from 69,500 in 2010 to 75,000 last year, the study said.

A breakdown of the $3.95 billion in economic impact shows 66 percent was generated by leisure visitors while 34 percent was generated by business, convention and meeting visitors.

“Tourism is a core driver of central Indiana’s economy, supporting a record number of jobs and generating $632 million in local and state taxes,” said Leonard Hoops, CEO of Visit Indy.

The study was conducted by West Chester, Pa.-based Rockport Analytics LLC and McLean, Va.-based D.K. Shifflet & Associates.


  • if return on investment and profit were used
    Note that if return on investment, real jobs created, and profit versus tax investment were involved, there would be no downtown freebies for millionaires such as the football stadium, basketball arena, etc. The only sport that truly has proven its worth and payed it way is the Indianapolis Indians.
  • these jobs are not high paying
    I believe Indianapolis if it really wants to be a destination should have a Riverfront on the White River side toward downtown from Washington all the way to 16th Street on both sides. A river walk is what is needed. The only moving water we have is White River and should be developed with riverfront shopping, dining, and bike paths, museums, outdoor music parks, and perhaps the city could be wise enough to create a new Riverside Amusement Park on a 21st Century design perhaps cooperating with some local notables like Jim Davis with Garfield as part of the attraction. This is unreal that they are going to build a Jail across from the Zoo. What a waste of valuable property in the downtown area when it could be developed for the community and surrounding counties as a draw for a real tourist industry. Instead, they ignored the old airport location as a development for the jail and legal system, keeping it at a location that should be for the downtown with riverfront, condominiums, an amusement park on par with Cedar Point and Kings Island, Holiday World, and others. A bad decision all around choosing this location for a courts, jail, and the legal system. The airport location has much easier access, the only reason it is near downtown is to accommodate all the Judges, Lawyers offices, bail bondsman, and legal system that has been down there forever.
  • What
    Where is the link to the study? What is the breakdown of these purported 70,000+ jobs? Arts, recreation and entertainment make up 1.7% of the county jobs (10,947, with an average wage of $52,552) and accommodation and food service make up 7.1% of the jobs (46,351 jobs 2.6% of the income at $22,259 average)and the retail trade has 8.3% of the jobs (54,110) and 4.6% of the income (average wage of $34,404). Look it up at Stats Indiana. Obviously, there is no way that the majority of the accommodation and food trade; arts, entertainment and recreation jobs and retail trade jobs can be attributed to this Debt-based Ponzi industry. So, again, what is the makeup of the 70,000 jobs that they attribute to this "industry" subsidized by more than a billion dollars of taxpayer money? Where is the raw data?
  • Lies, Damn Lies and "Tourism Studies"
    Kevin, You start at the premise that this study is somehow accurate. Why? These studies are always a joke, done by tourism advocates not by academics who don't have any interest in lying about what they're studying. I love how they always claim ridiculous returns on money...invest $1 in tourism and you get $20 in return...stupid claims like that. FYI, most of those 75,000 jobs are not even in the downtown area...they're in Central Indiana. How do they know they're related to tourism? They don't. Lies...nothing but. It's a shame that a publication like IBJ would give Visit Indy a forum to publish spin from a bogus study.
  • Reputation Requires Growth
    75,000 jobs at $50,000 per year equates to $4B. What that tells me is Tourism as an industry that works--it is giving back and not just taking. It is working. What is working you invest in, not denigrate. We should be asking, "What can we do next to grow the industry?" You cantt save your way to a fortune. You have to take risk, you have to invest. Yes, there needs to be oversight and accountability, but to think of stopping this industry because you ahve to spend money is crazy talk.
  • Mindless boosterism
    This is supposed to be a business publication, so here's a thought: Next time, instead of engaging in mindless boosterism that is lapped up by idiots, give us the whole picture. How much did tourism COST central Indiana? If it is so lucrative, why are taxpayers forced to pay for convention facilities? What is the population base this was calculated over? What is the per capita benefit? I know the answers because I've read study after study that says tourism is a NET MONEY LOSER for most metropolitan areas. The city of Indianapolis is unraveling like a cheap suit. Infrastructure is shot. 10,000 houses remain empty. You may be fooling the fools, but everyone with a brain understands very clearly that this city is nowhere and falling fast.
  • Yeah, Right
    Another one of these bogus studies that is going to be used to try to get taxpayers to pony up more money. Isn't this the same group that produced the report indicating the impact of hosting a Super Bowl is three times higher than what every othe estimate is.
  • Hmm...
    So "Visit Indy" won't need any money for years too come.
  • New Hotel
    Great! Now build a new hotel and get another Super Bowl. It could also be a piece to attracting a political convention.

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