This week, Merriam is celebrating National Tourism Week! This annual event is a time for tourism entities across the nation to recognize those who work in this service industry, and to share with others the vital impact of tourism on our local economy. This year’s theme, “Tourism, Then & Now,” also gives us a fun opportunity to showcase how Merriam tourism has developed throughout the years. Follow along our ‘then and now’ social posts, or reach out with special thanks to those who work behind the scenes at a hotel or restaurant, convenience store, ride service or retail establishment. Without these individuals serving the visitors to our community, tourism would look vastly different, not only in Merriam, but across the globe.
Take a look at these staggering visitation numbers:
LOCAL / REGIONAL:
- Merriam’s Pickleball Festival (October, 2017) yielded 135 players from 26 states and four countries and $75,000 in visitor spending over three days.
- Kansas City welcomes more than 25 million visitors to the region annually.
- Tourism generated a record $5.5 billion in economic impact for the region, including indirect and induced spending.
- 23% of visitor spending occurs in Johnson County (47% Jackson County; 6% Wyandotte County).
- In 2016, tourism to the region generated $380 million in state and local taxes, which in turn saved each area household $550 in taxes.
- 36 million people visit the State of Kansas each year.
- 14.2 million people stay overnight.
- Each visitor spends approximately $186 per person, per trip in Kansas.
- 95,000 tourism jobs in Kansas are supported through visitor spending.
- One in nine jobs depend on travel and tourism.
- Travel is among the top 10 industries in 49 states and D.C. in terms of employment.
- Top leisure travel activities for U.S. domestic travelers: (1) visiting relatives; (2) shopping; (3) visiting friends; (4) fine dining; and (5) rural sightseeing.
- Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.8 million per day, $118.2 million per hour, $2.0 million a minute and $32,800 per second.
This year’s #NTTW18 is more than just another campaign. It’s a movement that positions the travel industry as a primary driver in the U.S. economy, and an important part of our daily lives in Merriam, Kansas.
The Merriam Visitors Bureau gives special thanks to those who work the front lines, behind the scenes, and in any role that services our visitors! Speaking of visitors, we also thank you for choosing our community–your travel dollar supports hundreds of local jobs and allows us to maintain an inviting and enjoyable place for all to live and visit!