Survey shows more people visiting Indianapolis, more tourism spending

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More visitors, more spending and more jobs—those are the tourism trends in Indianapolis.

A new, comprehensive survey shows that tourism generated $3.95 billion in 2011, up from $3.58 billion in 2010.

The study from Rockport Analytics, D.K. Shifflet & Associates shows that more people are visiting Indianapolis. According to the study, 22 million visitors came to Indy in 2011, up from 20 million the year before. The study defined “visitor” as anyone who makes an overnight trip or travels more than 50 miles each way.

The number of tourism-related jobs also increased in Indianapolis. In 2011, the tourism industry supported 75,000 thousand full-time equivalent jobs. That’s up from 69,500 in 2010. Wages also increased by 10 percent.

“Tourism is a core driver of Central Indiana’s economy, supporting a record number of jobs and generating $632 million in local and state taxes,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy.

“Decades of thoughtful planning and civic investment, and the ongoing hard work of tens of thousands of Hoosiers, have helped Indy grow its convention, leisure and special event business to unprecedented levels,” Hoops said.

According to the data, of the $3.95 billion in economic impact, leisure visitors generated 66 percent of it with business, convention and meeting visitors accounting for the other 34 percent.

A study will also be conducted next year to gauge tourism in 2012.