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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. Local support for "Let's Talk Business" is provided by Carved + Crafted Catering. (573) 651-2569

Let's Talk Business: The Economic Impact of Tourism on Eclipse Day

SEclipse 2017 at Southeast Missouri State University
SEclipse 2017 at Southeast Missouri State University

It’s finally here! Eclipse day 2024 and with-it thousands of umbraphiles, or eclipse chasers will descend on the Southeast Missouri region. While I am sure some of the locals will be grumbling about traffic and crowded restaurants, the economic benefit to our area businesses and the communities overall will be worth it.

The Economic Impact of Tourism in Missouri was estimated at $19.9 Billion in FY’23 according to the Missouri Division of Tourism. That’s from an estimated 41.9 million visitors that spent an average of $336.24 per person per overnight trip in that year.

The benefits to a community that attracts tourism investment is seen in job creation, infrastructure development and added community resources and amenities that serve the local population year-round who benefit from the added opportunity and investment brought on by visitors.

In Cape Girardeau County the annual economic impact from tourism related business and industry based on NAICS spending reports is more than $266 Million dollars annually. Those dollars translate to roughly 4,785 jobs in our communities and countless business opportunities and growth.

With so many visitors coming to the region today to experience this special celestial event, I hope that everyone takes an opportunity to welcome these guests to our communities and invite them to stay and maybe even come back again in the future to enjoy all that we have to offer.

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.