economy continues to benefit from the tourism industry, according to a
report released Thursday by the County Convention, Recreation and Visitors
completed by Certec Inc. of Versailles, Ky., said that between 2013 and
2015, the impact ballooned 3.5 percent from $386 million to $413.4 million
dollars taken in.
“That’s a very
healthy growth rate. It means that tourism is making a very important
contribution to the local economy,” Certic President Jim Carr told the
PCCRVC during a press conference held at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.
The direct impact
amount or purchases made by visitors was $290 million in 2015, Carr said.
The indirect impact, or the “multiplier effect” of those dollars being
recycled on goods and services in other industries of the county totaled
approximately $123.4 million.
From the $290
million of direct spending in 2015, 38 percent was made on food and
beverages, the largest sector to benefit from tourism. Other industries
included shopping (20%), transportation (12%), lodging (11%), attraction
(11%) and souvenirs (6%).
Food and beverage
increased its portion by two percent from 2013. Lodging and souvenirs showed
slight growth at one percent while the percentage from attractions and
shopping stayed the same. Transportation fell by four percent, after making
up 16 percent of spending in 2013.
in 2015 spent the most with 35 percent of visitor purchases. Lodging guests
spent 29 percent, two percent higher than 2013. Visitors passing through or
spending time with relatives or friends in the county contributed about 17
percent and 16 percent. Campers contributed more than one percent.
or those who spend the night, however spend the most with $112 per person
per day on average. Those who just come to visit an attraction during part
of the day spend on average $46 per person. People stopping to visit friends
and family will spend an average of $60.
that 89 percent of the 3.1 million destination travelers to Porter County
are from the leisure market. The sports market it brought in six percent
while the convention and business market claimed five percent.
“The Porter County
market has a high leisure market due to the large visitation at its very
popular attractions,” the report said.
Carr noted that
tourism spending supports 5,075 jobs in the county, 113 more than what was
reported in 2013. That represents about 6.4 percent of all jobs in Porter
County. Direct expenditures accounted for 3,937 of those jobs. The total
wages driven by tourism spending was $98.7 million, comparable to $92
million two years prior.
About half of the
jobs resulting from tourism are personal services jobs, totaling 2,464
employees. Carr said the spending also stimulated jobs in non-tourism
industries like agriculture, fishing, construction and manufacturing.
expenditures led to the creation of 1,788 jobs, Carr said, 1,590 of those
were within the lodging sector.
tourism in Porter County has is boosting the amount of tax dollars generated
from property tax, business tax and innkeepers’ tax, Carr said. This led to
$42 million in federal taxes in 2015, $35.8 million in state taxes and $19.3
million in taxes for County and municipal governments.
the quality of life for the residents. They also have more opportunity to
participate in added attractions,” Carr said.
In other findings
from the survey:
-- The largest
group of visitors to Porter County for the yearly average in 2015 were
Indiana residents with 29.1 percent, followed by Illinois with 18.4 percent
and Ohio with 6.8 percent. Michigan residents were the fourth largest group
with 6.5 percent.
-- Friends and
relatives were the best information sources of Porter County attractions for
travelers. The report said 40.1 percent got their information that way. The
internet was the second most used source with 35.4 percent and the third was
brochures with 23.7 percent.
-- Short trips or
stays one to three nights were the most typical length of stay for visitors.
-- The Indiana
Dunes State Park remains the most popular tourist activity in the county.
Visiting friends and relatives was the second reason why travelers come
here. Dining was another popular choice. The most frequented restaurants
included casual dining, non-chain and locally owned or unique eateries.
Certec has compiled
economic reports for tourism in Porter County since 1994. That year, the
total impact was $187 million. In 2000, the total was $225 million.
definitely big business in Porter County. It has grown substantially, more
than double, over the 20 or so years we’ve been measuring its impact,” Carr
said. “There are many high quality facilities here that help to bring people
back a second, third or fourth visit.”