Impact of Tourism
Each year, over 1.84 million visitors travel to the Bloomington area to experience the arts, culture, recreation, food and collegiate events that abound in this community. They come to Bloomington for vacation, for business, to visit friends and family or to attend a convention or sporting event. All those visitors add up to big business in Bloomington and Monroe County.
Area visitors generated approximately $326 million in total gross sales in 2013. That breaks down to an average of $146.15 per person per trip on things like lodging, food and drink, entertainment and retail purchases.
They're coming for all kinds of reasons, and enjoying a wide variety of activities and resources while they're here, spreading the economic impact into all areas of the community. This spending helps create and sustain jobs, and add to the tax base, which benefits residents.
Speaking of jobs, the tourism industry directly supports 4,163 jobs in Monroe County, contributing $97 million in wages in 2013. That means that tourism is a major industry in this community, and one of the top ten employers in the state of Indiana.
Locally, the tourism industry contributed $45 million to the county tax base, and it's grown in recent years, with a 8.3% increase in jobs, nearly 9% increase in employee wages contributed, and a whopping 16.8% increase in gross sales generated.
It's important for our community to recognize the contributions of the local tourism industry. These are jobs, businesses and residents who depend on year-round visitors. Every resident benefits from the success of tourism, and a balanced and sustainable approach is critical. Tourism will always play a major role in the economic success of Bloomington and Monroe County, and it will always depend on the support of local residents.