Indiana tourism breaks record


(PHIL) THE REBOUND COMES AFTER OUR STATE’S IMAGE TOOK A HIT IN 2015 AFTER THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW WAS SIGNED. OUR STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF DAVID WILLIAMS SPENT THE DAY CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS. (DAVID) THE STATE’S OFFICE OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT SAYS A RECORD 79-MILLION PEOPLE CAME TO INDIANA LAST YEAR. THAT’S ALMOST TWO PERCENT MORE THAN THE YEAR BEFORE. (DAVID WILLIAMS REPORTING) NATS THE STAIRS CREEK WITH CHARACTER AND AGE. LEESA SMITH KNOWS THE NESTLE INN BED AND BREAKFAST WELL. SHE OWNS THE PLACE.. ((LEESA SMITH/OWNER, NESLTLE INN BED & BREAKFAST / 05:40:53 “THIS YEAR, OUR NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER, WICH CAN BE SLOW, ARE GOING TO BE REALLY FANTASTIC MONTHS FOR US.”: )) THEIR VISITORS COME TO INDIANA FROM AROUND THE WORLD. ((LEESA SMITH/OWNER @ 05:43:30 “WE HAD SOME FROM BRAZIL THIS YEAR. WE HAD A FAMILY FROM FRANCE COME AND STAY FOR TWO WEEKS. WE HAD SOME PEOPLE FROM GERMANY.”/ : )) INDIANA’S OFFICE OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT TELLS ME VISITORS SPENT $12.2 BILLION DOLLARS IN INDIANA IN 2016. THAT’S A $600MILLION BOOST COMPARED TO THE YEAR PRIOR. WHY? THINGS LIKE CONVENTIONS ACROSS THE STATE, HOTELS, EVENTS. THE BIGGEST FACTOR? ((MARK NEWMAN/EXEC. DIRECTOR, INDIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM DEVELOPMENT / 05:29:10: “FOOD AND BEVERAGE. SO, PEOPLE EATING IN OUR RESTAURANTS, DRINKING IN OUR DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS.” )) ((DAVID WILLIAMS / @ 05:39:58 “NEWMAN SAYS LAST YEAR IN 2016, CLOSE TO $3BILLION WENT INTO INDIANA’S ECONOMY.” : )) THE SHOT IN INDIANA’S ECONOMIC ARM COMES AFTER THE STATE TOOK AN INTERNATIONAL HIT TO ITS IMAGE FOLLOWING THE SIGNING OF A RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LAW BY FORMER GOVERNOR MIKE PENCE, NOW THE U.S. VICE PRESIDENT. A QUOTE “FIX” WAS LATER APPROVED, WHICH CREATED LIMITED EQUAL RIGHTS PROTECTIONS. (( NEWMAN @ 05:31:29 “I’LL TELL YOU, THERE WAS SOME SIGNIFICANT WORK DONE TO REPAIR IMAGE AND IMPRESSION. TO REASSURE FOLKS THAT INDIANA IS A WELCOMING PLACE.”/ : )) THAT HOOSIER HOSPITALITY IS A BIG REASON WHY SMITH SAYS PEOPLE KEEP COMING BACK. ((SMITH @ 05:41:49/ “WE REALLY WANT THEM TO REMEMBER THE STATE OF INDIANA.”. : )) (DAVID) NEWMAN SAYS ALL THIS DATA SHOWS INDIANA IS HOME TO A ROBUST TOURISM ECONOMY. HE SAYS THE EXPERIENCES PEOPLE HAVE HERE ARE ONE OF THE BIG REASONS WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO COME. I ASKED HIM TO GIVE A LITTLE OFF- THE CUFF TOURISM FORECAST…HE SAYS PERSONALLY, HE’S CONFIDENT THE STATE WILL CONTINUE THE GROWTH WE’RE SEEING. (PHIL)

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