News & Resources for the Indiana Tourism Industry

Another Record Year for Indiana Tourism

 Number of Visitors and Visitor Spending Reach New Highs 

INDIANAPOLIS (December 11, 2017) – A new study released by Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) reports on the growing impact that tourism has on the Indiana economy. The study indicates that travel, tourism and hospitality supports over 242,000 jobs and contributes $12.2 billion in spending by visitors to Indiana’s economy. This study used data from 2016, the most recent year that complete data was available, and represents the sixth year in a row of spending gains by visitors to Indiana destinations.

“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,” said Lt. Governor Crouch. “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.”

Indiana tourism generated more than $2.9 billion in tax receipts in 2016 up 5.6% from 2015. This was comprised of $1.4 billion in federal, $913 million in state, and $675 million in local revenues.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  • The number of visitors to Indiana destinations increased by 1.7% to a record 79 million.
  • Total visitor spending reached a record $12.2 billion, an increase of more than $600 million or 5.7%.
  • By contrast, visitor spending advanced 5.1% in Kentucky, 3.7% in Tennessee, 2.4% in Ohio, and 1.8% in Illinois during the same period.
  • Spend-Per-Visitor rose to $154.50 in 2016, up $5.00 from 2015.
  • Visitor spending added $10.9 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.
  • Indiana tourism supported 242,000 full-time jobs in the state.
  • Indiana tourism directly employed 186,400 Hoosiers. 

“This report shows how important tourism is as an economic driver for the State of Indiana and that its impact continues to grow,” said Mark Newman, IOTD’s executive director.  “Hoosiers in every corner of the state benefit.  In fact, every Hoosier household saved an average of $635 in 2016 because of the robust tourism economy we have.”

This is the fifth consecutive year tourism’s economic impact was measured. The study was commissioned by IOTD and conducted by Rockport Analytics, an independent market research and consulting company that specializes in economic impact and feasibility studies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The methodology employed by this study is in accordance with industry best practices and aligns economic impact data at the state and local level with rigorous methodological standards that are recognized as the highest in the industry.

The study used data on Indiana visitor spending derived from multiple sources including Longwoods International, Reach Market Planning and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel & Tourism Office. It was then reconciled with Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment data, Indiana Department of Revenue reported tax receipts and secondary sources such as Smith Travel Research.

Tourism is defined as an overnight stay or a trip greater than 50 miles each way that is not part of an individual’s normal routine.

The attached infographic illustrates some key data points in the economic report. It can be found on the Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s industry website VisitIndianaTourism.com.