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Omaha Magazine

Omaha CVB: What Omaha Tourism Looks Like

Nov 28, 2022 08:10AM ● By Deborah Ward
When visitors come to town for a holiday getaway, to attend a convention, or to conduct business, they spend money in our community. 

The money visitors spend at our restaurants, attractions, hotels, retail shops, and on transportation contributes to our local economy, providing jobs and income, tax revenue, community development, and other important benefits we all enjoy. 

While the pandemic devastated the tourism industry, 2021 travel statistics show promising signs of rebounding. Even as COVID variants impacted travel plans, Omaha visitation numbers hovered just under pre-pandemic numbers.

In 2021, Douglas County saw visitor numbers climb to 95% of pre-pandemic levels with 12.7 million travelers coming into town. Those visitors spent $1.256 billion in our community, reaching 93% of pre-pandemic spending. With these out-of-towners comes a demand for jobs that provide quality services to ensure each visitor has a memorable experience. Visitor spending sustains more than 14,500 jobs in our county–that means one in 30 positions is supported by money brought into town by tourism. Local and state taxes generated by visitors totaled more than $154 million last year. Those funds help save each Douglas County household $700. Without tourism, local taxes would need to go up or government services would need to be reduced. 

The team at Visit Omaha continues its efforts to stimulate the local economy by attracting out-of-town visitors and bringing in conventions, meetings, and sporting events. These visitors translate into a win for everyone in Omaha because tourism brings local families together and helps neighborhoods grow. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. 

Deborah Ward is the executive director of Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

This article originally appeared in the December 2022/January 2023 issue of B2B Magazine. To receive the magazine, 
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