2016 brings over 20 million visitors to Nebraska attractions

Jenn Gjerde at 402-471-3768, or jenn.gjerde@nebraska.gov
Angela Sears at 402-471-7755, or angela.sears@nebraska.gov

2016 brings over 20 million visitors to Nebraska attractions



LINCOLN, Neb. (March 14, 2017)— More than 20 million visitors came to Nebraska's attractions in 2016. Each year the Nebraska Tourism Commission collects attendance data from tourism destinations throughout the state including state and national parks, museums, art galleries and more. Once again, state parks and the Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium proved to be the most popular places to visit.
“Nebraska is an amazing state to explore and these numbers show that we aren’t the only ones that think so,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “More and more people are spending their time and tourism dollars here, and with the sesquicentennial and excitement surrounding the Passport program, it will only grow. This all translates into more jobs and tax revenue for the state's third-largest industry."
Last year, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium had the largest attendance in the state and reached over 2 million visitors for the first time ever. This is a 22 percent increase from the zoo's 2015 attendance count, which was documented at 1,679,324, and comes after the opening of the African Grasslands exhibit last spring.
Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area in Ogallala had 1,366,863 visitors and Branched Oak State Recreation Area in Raymond had 1,290,856 visitors. Five destinations total reached over 1 million in attraction attendance in 2016.
The 10 destinations with the largest attendance numbers in 2016:

  1. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  2. Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area
  3. Branched Oak State Recreation Area
  4. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park
  5. CenturyLink Center Omaha
  6. Wagon Train State Recreation Area
  7. Ponca State Park
  8. Fremont State Recreation Area
  9. Platte River State Park
  10. Pawnee State Recreation Area

To see the full list of Nebraska attraction attendance go to http://visitnebraska.com/media/industry/category/annual-attraction-attendance

*Only attractions who reported their numbers to the Nebraska Tourism Commission are listed.


For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at VisitNebraska.com. Then stay connected with Nebraska Tourism on our Visit Nebraska Facebook page, on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram and on YouTube.
The mission of the Nebraska Tourism Commission is to expand Nebraska’s dynamic and diverse travel industry making it more viable by creating awareness, attracting increased visitors which results in greater tourism revenue and economic gain throughout the state. To learn more, go to 



Press Releases