ANDERSON – Tourism is about more than just finding fun within Madison County.
It brings in out-of-county dollars that have a profound effect on the local economy to the tune of $111.9 million in Madison County in 2016, according to a statewide study conducted by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.
That’s just one of the success stories touted at the annual Anderson Madison County Visitors Bureau Luncheon on Thursday, which focused on defining the effect of all the progress the bureau and local businesses have made in attracting out-of-county residents to this county.
“It’s my hope and goal that these numbers continue to grow for Madison County in 2018 and the years to come,” said Matt Rust, executive director of the bureau.
Rust touted year-over-year increases in the amount of money visitors spent in Madison County and the county’s place as 18th in the state in tourism spending by visitors in 2016, the most recent year data is available.
Visitors spent $153.7 million in Madison County, of which 73 percent directly contributed to the local economy. And those dollars directly support 3,356 jobs in the county and bring in $19 million in tax revenue.
Without those tourism dollars, Rust said each household in the county would have to pay an additional $324 in taxes.
“It’s our partners like Hoosier Park who make this happen — hosting the Breeders Crown last October … a huge event that brought in over 10,000 for two days despite the weather being nasty cold and rain … and our other partner attractions, festivals, fairs and destinations,” Rust said. “Whether you’re a visitor to Madison County or a resident, we have a lot to offer.”
Across the state, travel, tourism and hospitality support over 242,000 jobs and contribute $12.2 billion in spending by visitors to Indiana’s economy.
“This report shows how important tourism is as an economic driver for the State of Indiana and that its impact continues to grow,” Mark Newman, executive director of the state Tourism Development Office, said in a press release. “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.”