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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tourism is Big Business in Bloomington

Categories: press releases

Bloomington, IN -Each year, over a million visitors travel to the Bloomington area to experience the arts, culture, recreation, food and collegiate events that abound in this community.  These million visitors spend around $279 million each year, on things like lodging, food and drink, entertainment and retail.  Their visits support nearly 8,000 jobs in Monroe County.  Tourism is a major industry in this community, and one of the top ten employers in Indiana.  And all these visitors add up to big business.


To celebrate this thriving industry, Visit Bloomington has planned special programs to coincide with National Travel and Tourism Week, May 4-12.  As part of the local celebration, Visit Bloomington is asking residents to be a tourist in your own town.  Locals are asked to visit a museum they haven't seen in a while (or ever), try a new restaurant, buy a souvenir and participate in a new activity.  This exploration of Bloomington from a visitor's perspective can help residents understand why people travel to this community and appreciate the positive impact that visitors make, and become an ambassador to the tourism industry.


As part of this promotion, Visit Bloomington has partnered with the South Central Community Action Program's Circles Initiative to provide an opportunity for one of their Leaders to be a tourist in their own town.  Visit Bloomington will provide $350 for the Leader and their Ally to experience Bloomington as a visitor.  The average visitor spends $175 per trip to the area, so this $350 will fund both the Leader and Ally.  The Leader and Ally will write about their experience for Visit Bloomington's Btown Blog, which will be posted on May 6.


At the end of Tourism Week, Visit Bloomington will host a reception to honor the professionals that make up the local tourism industry.  Awards will be presented to the best restaurant or bar, best attraction, best festival or event, best lodging property, tourism partner of the year and hosts of the year.  In addition, awards are given to the behind the scenes and front line employees of the year, which are chosen from nominations submitted by tourism partners.

"Monroe County's visitor industry is a job creator and an economic engine for the entire region," said Mike McAfee, Executive Director at Visit Bloomington.  "Visitors spend money at a wide range of area businesses and those dollars end up flowing through our economy getting spent again and again on groceries, housing, gasoline, clothes and more. Over time, that results in the growth of new businesses, services and amenities as well as more educational, networking and cultural opportunities for citizens. It's an honor to recognize these award winners and celebrate the power of tourism this week."


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Visit Bloomington actively markets and sells the destination brand experience through targeted and industry partnered strategies resulting in increased visitor spending and enhanced community well-being and resident quality of life.



More information is available at www.visitbloomington.com