Visitor Spending in Nebraska increased in 2018


Erin Lenz at 402-471-3797, or [email protected]


LINCOLN, Neb. (November 4, 2019) – Spending by people traveling in Nebraska totaled $3.4 billion in 2018 according to a new study by Dean Runyan Associates.

“This is the second year in a row that visitor expenditures have increased in the state after a number of years of flat or modest growth,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director. “The 5.4% increase in 2018 was significantly larger than the 1.9% pace the previous year and it’s the first time in a long time that Nebraska has outpaced the average growth rate nationally.”

The national average growth rate for 2018 was 4.1 percent. This travel spending includes purchases made on accommodations, food and beverage, ground transportation, retail sales and more. 

“In 2018, we focused on inviting people who weren’t from Nebraska to explore everything this state has to offer,” said Ricks. “Out-of-state visitors tend to stay longer and spend more and we are seeing that through this increase in visitor spending. It’s exciting to see our industry growing at a healthy rate.”

This 2018 travel spending is equivalent to approximately $9.2 million dollars per day. Visitor spending has a significant impact on the economy in the state. Direct travel spending in Nebraska generated 40,300 jobs with earnings of $750 million in 2018.

In October at the Nebraska Tourism Conference in North Platte, Ricks unveiled a new interactive dashboard created by Dean Runyan Associates. This dashboard gives industry members direct access to travel impact data at any time. It includes direct economic impacts of travel to and through Nebraska and most of the state’s counties in the categories of direct travel spending, direct employment, direct earnings and direct tax receipts. 

View the interactive dashboard here:
For more information about travel, events and unique destinations in Nebraska, order your free travel guide today at 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