Report shows state tourism has increasing economic impact

A report commissioned by state officials suggests tourism has a growing impact on Indiana's economy.

The Indiana Office of Tourism Development released the findings Monday. It said travel, tourism and hospitality generated a record $2.9 billion in taxes in 2016, up 5.6 percent from 2015. The amount was comprised of $1.4 billion in federal, $913 million in state, and $675 million in local taxes.

During that same period, the number of visitors increased 1.7 percent, to a record 79 million.

The study says travel, tourism and hospitality supports more than 242,000 jobs and contributed a record $12.2 billion in spending by visitors to Indiana’s economy in 2016. The increase marked the sixth year in a row of spending gains by visitors to Indiana destinations.

The report defined "tourism" as an overnight stay or a trip greater than 50 miles each way that is not part of an individual's normal routine.

“The tourism industry in our state supported more than 240,000 jobs across the state, and set a record amount of visitors and visitor spending last year,” Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch said in written comments. “I am excited to see the progress the industry will build upon and strides they will make in bringing Indiana’s tourism to the next level.”

Among other highlights from the report:

— Spending per visitor in Indiana rose to $154.50 in 2016, up $5 from 2015.

— Visitor spending added $10.9 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.

— Indiana tourism directly employed 186,400 Hoosiers.

— Indiana topped several nearby states in the increase in visitor spending, at 5.6 percent. By contrast, visitor spending advanced 5.1 percent in Kentucky, 3.7 percent in Tennessee, 2.4 percent in Ohio, and 1.8 percent in Illinois during the same period.

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