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Published on : Friday, August 4, 2017
The U.S. tourism industry accounted for $1.5 trillion in GDP last year, which is 8.1 percent of the total. According to the WTTC, this figure will increase to 9.3 percent by 2027. Even in Kansas, tourism is a top-10 employer, providing 94,000 jobs and generating more than $6.5 billion in direct spending every year. In Shawnee County, around 5 percent of employment is related to tourism.
Although tourism revenue fell during the recession, it was one of the fastest-recovering industries in the country. Kansas was no exception. In January 2018, Topeka and Shawnee County will begin to apply the Momentum 2022 plan: “A strategic planning initiative that will guide the community’s economic development efforts.” Tourism is a major catalyst of economic development in Shawnee County. Tourism does not only generate tax revenue and commercial activity, but also introduces the local community to potential future residents. To identify ways to attract more people to the community and reinforce its strengths, city officials commissioned a study by DestinationNEXT.