Tourism officials tout $200+ million in visitor spending

Misty Weisensteiner . Photo courtesy of Columbus Area Visitors Center

Local tourism officials say that visitors to Bartholomew County spent more than $200 million dollars in the most recent year surveyed, making it the 15th highest ranked county in the state for visitor spending.

The Columbus Area Visitors Center has released the results of the study of 2022 visitors behavior, showing a 10 percent increase in visitor spending impact over 2021. According to the study, that impact amounted to $166 million.

Columbus Area Visitors Center Executive Director, Misty Weisensteiner said,  “Tourism matters and is an important contributor to the Bartholomew County economy.”

Visitors spend their money in local bars and restaurants, stores, hotels, on transportation and at entertainment events supporting local arts and cultural organizations.

The center says tourism related businesses makes up the seventh largest employer segment in the community, with more than 2,600 jobs tied to the visitors.

The study shows that visitors generated $21.2 million in tax dollars in 2022, a 10.3 percent increase from 2021. And that without those outside dollars, local households would have to pay $646 more in taxes to keep up with the current services.