Tourism is thriving in the Radius Indiana region, according to a newly released study by market research firm Rockport Analytics. The study shows visitor spending totaling $271.6 million, marking a 13 percent increase from the previous year and a regional economic impact of $198 million.
The study compared tourism data during a two-year period for Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties and reports that nearly 5,000 area residents are directly employed in tourism, making it the 7th largest industry in the region.
“Tourism is not only good for the local economy in the Radius Region, but also has many other benefits for the community. A booming tourism industry also helps create a healthy job market and puts dollars into our school systems. Moreover, it helps to relieve the tax burden of households in the region,” said Radius Indiana President and CEO Jeff Quyle.
The study was commissioned by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and Radius Indiana and is the first-ever analysis of the economic impact of tourism for Radius. It shows that the region outpaced the state’s growth in tourism spending by 5 percent and has a nearly 2.5 percent share of overall tourism spending in Indiana.
“I applaud Radius Indiana for undertaking this study to establish a baseline of tourism’s impact for their area,” said Mark Newman, executive director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. “This region is an asset-rich part of the state and has some of the state’s most important historical sites within just miles of one another. This data will help us to better support the region as we work together to develop tourism strategies for the state.”
Radius Indiana facilitates a regional tourism advisory council, and the group will use the study to create new initiatives that will support this vital part of the local economy.
“The data shows us that 73 cents of every $1 spent on tourism stayed in the local economy and saves our taxpayers about $359 per year in taxes — money that stays in the region stimulates our communities and promotes vitality and growth,” said Quyle.
Highlights of the study include Orange County, home to French Lick Resort and Casino and historic West Baden, with the largest amount of tourism spending for the region and coming in at No. 2 for the state in spending per capita; Washington County recorded a 30 percent increase in tourism spending during the study period, ranking it as the No. 1 county in the state for tourism spending growth.