It accounts for more than $16 billion dollars annually in economic impact for the state of Missouri and more than $250 million dollars locally.
Tourism is in the top three industries in Missouri’s economic picture. More than 308,000 people are employed in this sector accounting for 1 in 12 Missouri jobs. Of 114 counties in the state, Cape County is in the top 15 for tourism related spending. Forecasts by Tourism Economics predict spending will continue to rise for the next several years.
Tourism professionals actively go after these dollars. They target leisure travelers, travel writers, meeting planners, group travel leaders, sporting event organizers, business travelers, and others. This is accomplished by a targeted mix of advertising, public relations, digital media, and direct sales.
Local results are very positive as hotel/motel and restaurant tax receipts consistently increase year over year. While it is difficult to measure direct impact on the retail sector, certainly many of these visitors are spending dollars in our local establishments.
Here’s how you can help. If you are involved in a state trade association or affiliated group that has conferences throughout the year, work to host one of those conferences in Cape. Or, consider hosting a reunion or other get together with regional friends and family. And, don’t forget about sports. If you or your children are involved with any leagues, remember the possibilities for hosting tournaments. All of these efforts add up.