It was a banner year for tourism in Omaha in 2012. According to a study conducted by Tourism Economics, more than 11 million visitors combined to spend more than $1 billion in the city. That marks a 13% increase in two years.
The breakdown looks like this: $274 million was spent on food and beverage, $240 million on shopping, $201 million on lodging, $166 million on transportation and $143 million at Omaha area attractions.
"This research shows tourism in Omaha is growing and providing economic benefits for our city and tax relief for our citizens," said Dana Markel, executive director of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau. "When visitors eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and shop in our stores, they are bringing new money into our local economy."
The new research shows visitor spending saves each Douglas County household approximately $655 a year in taxes. In addition, tourism supports 16,200 jobs in the city, that’s more than the number of employees at ConAgra, Mutual of Omaha and Union Pacific combined.