FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LINCOLN, Neb. (August 30, 2018) — The summer season may be winding down, but results of tourism in Nebraska are going up. The Nebraska Tourism Commission is excited to announce that the 2017-2018 fiscal year ended with the highest lodging tax collection of all time. The total collection from July 2017-June 2018 was $5,689,254, a growth rate of 6.98 percent from the previous year.
“The record setting lodging tax collection shows us that when you invite people from out of state, they will come,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director. “We targeted out-of-state markets for the crane migration and 2018 summer campaign, the Nebraska Passport Program continues to grow and the Solar Eclipse took place in this fiscal year, all things that factored in to our 6.98 percent growth rate.”
On a calendar year basis, the months of February, March and May set all-time high records and June was a second all-time high for collections as well. Projections provided to the Nebraska Tourism Commission predicted a growth rate of 1.3 percent last fiscal year, the actual collections were five times higher.
Many communities throughout Nebraska are benefiting from the tourism industry growth. Director of Scottsbluff County, Brenda Leisy, says they had a significant increase in lodging tax in August, September and October 2017 with a slight increase in the summer months. The 2017-2018 fiscal year was record-breaking for Dawes County lodging tax numbers as well.
“We look forward to continuing to entertain visitors in Northwest Nebraska and to see the positive lodging tax income trend continue,” said Kristina Reeves, Northwest Nebraska executive director who oversees Dawes and Sioux County.
As the third largest industry in Nebraska, tourism has a large statewide economic impact. According to the U.S. Travel Association, domestic and international travelers to Nebraska spent $4.9 billion in 2016 and generated $735.1 million to federal, state and local governments. These are dollars that help fund jobs and public programs such as police, firefighters, teachers, road projects and convention centers. Without the 49,360 jobs that were created by travelers in 2016, Nebraska’s 2016 unemployment rate of 3.2 percent would have been 8.1 percent of the labor force.
More information about Nebraska state/county lodging tax can be found here. If you would like to read the U.S. Travel Association’s full report on the economic impact of the travel industry, you can find it here.
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 VisitNebraska.com.