Booming Columbus tourism saving taxpayers money - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Booming Columbus tourism saving taxpayers money

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

Summer vacation is just around the corner for many in the valley, and Columbus tourism officials are preparing to welcome a seasonal influx of visitors.

The spike in guests is something that is saving taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

"We're about to see a spike in our visitation," said Peter Bowden, President of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.

If 2016 looks anything like 2015, that means a lot of visitors will be streaming into the valley.

Administrators at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau say we had 1.9 million guests last fiscal year. That resulted in $340 million spent at local tourism related businesses, more than 4,400 jobs required to support those businesses, $119 million in estimated payroll for those jobs, and a whopping $38 million in tax revenue.

A lot of the money raised by the industry gets circulated back into the community.

"That $340 million goes towards helping offset cost of roads, it helps with school systems, all those things I think a lot of us take for granted, the quality of life things we take for granted," said Bowden.

Not only does tourism-generated money help the Fountain City as a whole, it's also helping keep more money in tax-payers' pockets. 

"There's about a $533 savings per household in Columbus, which means that if it wasn't for travel or tourism in Columbus, the city would have to increase taxes in order to maintain the level of services that we enjoy right now," said Bowden.

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