February 25, 2013 by

Omaha welcomes about 5 million overnight visitors every year; visitors who come to our city for a variety of different reasons—maybe it’s a business meeting, a college visit, or just a nice weekend getaway. You probably don’t think twice about them, but twice is exactly what you should be thinking.

According to the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism, each dollar spent by tourists in Omaha is re-circulated in the economy to produce an additional $1 in business and income, creating an overall economic impact of $2. For example, a tourism dollar that goes for gasoline is spent by the business owner to pay the cashier, who then spends the dollar to buy groceries—it’s the multiplier effect.

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Take a Kansas City family of four visiting Omaha for a weekend. They need a place to stay; two nights at a hotel will run them around $200. They don’t have a kitchen; that means they will eat out four to six times while they are here, so add another $280 to their tab. The family plans to go to the zoo; with admission, snacks, and souvenirs, they’ll likely spend $130. While shopping, they spend another $230. Add in incidentals like gas…and when the weekend is over, they’ve spent a total of $1,000. Considering their money doubles as it trickles through the economy—that one family made a $2,000 economic contribution to our city.

A recent Omaha tourism economic study showed overnight visitors drive an additional $1 billion into our economy annually. That’s a significant boost to our city’s financial health!

Too bad visitors don’t wear a big ‘V’ on their shirts so we could thank them personally for their impact on our local economy!

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