BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Bloomington/Monroe County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) recently completed a tourism economic impact study which shows the importance of this industry to Bloomington and Monroe County. The CVB contracted with Indiana University’s Department of Recreation, Park & Tourism Studies to produce this research project. Tourism students conducted 536 intercept surveys at eight tourism events between June and November of 2009. Based on the eight events, findings of the study include:

Each year over 1.25 million tourists create an impact of $279 million dollars in local sales.

The average tourist spends $175 on a trip and stays for 2.5 days, which translates to spending $70 a day. This average includes both overnight and daytrips. That $175 is broken out by $104 on lodging, $52 on food and beverages and over $19 on retail (includes local gasoline purchases).

79% stay overnight during their trip with 70% of those stays occurring in a hotel.

43% of are from Indiana, 61% are repeat visitors, 58 % are female and 70% have completed at least a four-year degree.

56% visit for pleasure, 33% for business, and 11% for both pleasure and business.

The most popular activities tourists participate in are shopping and dining out.

Tourism expenditures help create over 8,036 jobs and directly support 3,844 jobs in the county. These 3,844 jobs annually generate $89 million in wages and $37 million in federal and state taxes.

“The tourism industry continues to grow and positively contribute to the quality of life in Bloomington and Monroe County. We feel we have the best tourism product in Indiana and this research is a valuable tool for us to use in our marketing planning. We want to constantly improve those efforts and get the highest return on that investment that we can,” stated Mike McAfee, Executive Director of the CVB.

The BMCCVB’s mission is to maximize and grow the economic impact of visitor spending in Monroe County through the promotion of the area as a destination for all kinds of travelers.

More information is available at www.visitbloomington.com.

Source: Monroe County Convention & Visitors Bureau