COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – With a plethora of activities and things to do in Columbus, the tourism has grown with over 1.8 million visitors traveling to attend conferences, conventions, local attractions and meetings.
Visitor spending contributes significantly to the local and regional economies. In an annual evaluation of travel, the Columbus GA Convention and Visitors Bureau partnered with the Butler Center for Business and Economic Research at CSU to provide an analysis of the total number of visitors.
This analysis also included the amount visitors spend locally, the number of jobs generated by their spending, the payroll associated with these jobs and the amount of local and state tax revenues generated.
Events and attractions like whitewater rafting, religious conventions and the annual Fountain City Classic bring in millions of dollars
"Yes those types of things are big for us. People come in to tail gate or for a day trip and it also impacts are hotel industry as well," said Peter Bowden.
In fiscal year 2015, visitors spent around $340 million locally, and visitor expenditures supported an estimated 4,477 jobs in the city with an estimated payroll of over $119 million, an average of $47,000 per job.
The economic activity from visitor spending generates over $18.6 million in lodging and sales tax for the city and more than $15 million in sales tax revenue for the state.
Columbus visitors produce over $34 million in tax revenue for the county and state, and these tax dollars are used to provide public services for the citizens. The Columbus Convention and Bureau says that if it were not for these tax revenues generated by visitors and tourism, each household in Columbus would have to pay an additional $533 in taxes in order to maintain the same level of services.
"Thanks to Dr. Blair and the staff at CSU's Butler Center for Business and Economic Research, their annual impact analysis allows the CVB to not only track specific travel and tourism numbers, but to report on the impact tourism has on Columbus," stated Peter Bowden, President/CEO of the Columbus CVB. "These are new dollars to the community, which brings tax relief to every household in Columbus."
For more information on the tourism industry in Columbus please click here.