The Vincennes/Knox County Visitors and Tourism Bureau has the results of the 2018 Economic Impact Study, and the outcome is good.

According to the 2018 study, the Vincennes/Knox County travel and tourism industry is up 5.1% from 2014, with related revenue up from $95.2 million to $114.5 million.

The 2018 figure also soars well above the $81.1 million mark brought in by tourism in 2010.

Executive director Shyla Beam says though she didn’t find the results surprising, she was happy to see the dollar amounts continued to grow.

Consulting firm Certec Inc. of Kentucky worked with Beam and the VTB this spring to provide updated information about the economic impact of local tourism.

The report shows that the average visitor spent nearly $70 while here.

While more than half of visitors to Knox County in 2018 were pass-through travelers, another half a million visitors were destination travelers, specifically coming to Knox County to visit one or more of its historic sites, museums or special events.

The bureau’s study shows destination visits to places such as Grouseland, the State Historic Sites, the city’s museums and the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park were major revenue contributors.

Another major finding of the report shows that 1,267 jobs in Knox County are a direct result of its tourism industry.

Beam says it’s easy to point to jobs like service workers in restaurants, but other types of jobs are created as well, including some that are a higher wage.

She says when tourism increases, there’s a greater demand for things like hotel rooms.

“What many people don’t consider though, is to build those hotels, it creates a demand for contractors," she said. "So jobs are created in various sectors, and not just at the historic sites or in service work.”

Tourists also helped generate over $26.9 million in tax revenue, with $5.3 million of that going to local government.

City officials, as well as local non-profit organizations and even the Knox County Development Corp., can use this type of economic information when applying for improvement grants.

The data can also help the VTB with its marketing strategies and continue to bolster tourism in Knox County.

The study showed the vast majority of visitors to Knox County coming from the Midwest, which is where the VTB focuses the majority of its marketing efforts.

“So it’s nice to have the data to prove our efforts are working,” Beam said.

With continued economic growth brought in by visitors, the VTB can invest even more in advertising what Indiana’s oldest city has to offer, and for Beam that means continuing traditional methods of marketing, but also amping up social media campaigns for a new generation of travelers.

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