News & Resources for the Indiana Tourism Industry

2015: A record year for Indiana Tourism

Tourism industry has growing impact on Indiana economy

A new economic impact report released by Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) documents the growing impact tourism has on the Indiana economy. The report shows travel, tourism and hospitality supports over 202,000 jobs and contributes $11.5 billion in spending by visitors to Indiana’s economy. This is the fourth consecutive year tourism’s economic impact was measured. This study used data from 2015; the most recent year complete data was available.

"This latest economic impact report shows the continued upward trajectory of Indiana’s travel, tourism and hospitality industry,” said Governor-elect Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb. “Tourism has a tremendous impact on the Hoosier economy and this latest data shows the positive return the state receives from investment in the industry.”

Tourism was the fastest growing sector in the Indiana economy in 2015. The allied travel, tourism and hospitality industry was responsible for contributing $8.7 billion to Indiana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), over 4% of total jobs in the state and over 9% of state & local tax receipts.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Visitors to Indiana’s destinations increased by 4.3% to a record 77 million.
  • Total tourism spending reached a record $11.5 billion, an increase of more than $900 million.
  • Visitor spending added $8.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.
  • Tourism supported 202,000 jobs in the state.
  • Indiana tourism directly employed 155,200 Hoosiers.
  • State and local tourism-initiated taxes reached $1.3 billion.

“Tourism continues to prosper and that’s valuable for the state,” said Mark Newman, IOTD’s executive director. “Every Hoosier household saved an average of $550 in 2015 because of the presence of tourism in Indiana.”

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 tourism industry website