Tourism's Substantial Economic Impact
January 22, 2018
By: Joe Timbrook


Through the eyes of our visitors to the Radius Region the word “tourism” stirs visions of a favorite family getaway destination, a picturesque hiking adventure through rolling hills or that perfect anniversary dinner at a winery, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
But through the fine-tuned lens of an economist, tourism can be seen much differently. It is viewed as a jobs creator, a tax revenue generator and most importantly as a powerful industry that helps drive the economy in our region.
According to a newly released study by market research firm Rockport Analytics, tourism spending in our region continues to grow—increasing by $11.8 million from the previous year.  
The study compared tourism data during a two-year period for Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington counties and includes jobs in the industry directly supporting our visitors such as hotel accommodations, as well as in supply chain sectors like transportation.
Let’s take a look at the numbers from Rockport:

$283.4 million in tourism spending, which has a $206.2 million in lasting economic impact to an eight-county, mostly rural region in southern Indiana.  This visitor spending has a significant impact on lodging, transportation, shopping, food & beverage and entertainment businesses in every city and town as evidenced by the following:

  • $73.8M spent on food & beverage or 26.0% of total tourism spending (vs. state 27.9%)
  • $70.2M spent on lodging or 24.8% of total tourism spending (vs. state 16.4%)
  • $67.6M spent on shopping or 23.9% of total tourism spending (vs. state 22.1%)
  • $40.7M spent on transportation or 14.4% of total tourism spending (vs. state 16.4%)
  • $31.1M spent on entertainment & recreation or 11.0% of total tourism spending (vs. state 18.0%)
73% of every dollar spent on tourism in the Radius Region stays in the region.
5,093 tourism-related jobs in an area with a workforce of 106,375 adults (or 4.8% of the total) providing wages totaling $121.3 million. These payroll dollars support jobs of nearly every type; from stores to gas stations to tourist attractions to hotels and restaurants.  Residents have jobs because visitors spend their money here.  One out of every 20 workers in the region is employed because of the tourism industry.  Studies show that those individuals who start out working in the hospitality industry come to enjoy significant salary growth over time—better than the average regional or national salary.
Tourism spending results in $60.3 million in tax revenue generated region-wide.  Without this federal, state and local impact, each regional household would have to pay an additional $618 annually in taxes.  A portion of the local tax collection is used for the development of tourism initiatives and investments in each county. In addition, revenue collected from tourism supports the equivalent of 3,777 public school students in the region.
Tourism is the #7 industry in the region.  In a state that is heavily invested in manufacturing and technology, tourism ranks higher in the Radius Region as a top industry coming in at #7 compared to the tourism industry for the state of Indiana, which ranks at  #10. Industries that have higher rankings by total employment are manufacturing, government, health and social services, retail/accommodations/food and beverage and construction. 
The Radius Region is home to the magnificent French Lick Resort and the West Baden Hotel, which is a top destination in the United States for visitors.  The rest of the area is some of the most beautiful terrain in the nation and is known as the “garden spot of the Midwest.”  Other interesting destinations include Patoka Lake Reservoir, Hoosier National Forest and multiple state parks and recreations sites.  It includes our one-of-a-kind limestone heritage, a thriving Amish community, and much more.
It is easy to see how tourism is a thriving industry. And now, with the regional tourism industry’s economic impact in full focus, the next angle we look at is: How do we maximize it?
We work hard to create the experience and feeling that we want every visitor to have when they spend time in our region.  The same feeling we have because we live here and love it.
Look for information regarding “A Promise for Southern Indiana,” a new regional tourism initiative throughout 2018.
Joe Timbrook, COO

U. S. Air Force Chief of Staff Tours Crane Innovation

January 16, 2018
By: Matt Craig
Director of Crane Community Support

Acknowledgment of Crane’s prowess in innovation and military technology reached new heights this week with a visit from General David Goldfein, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force. Gen. Goldfein is the highest-ranking officer in the Air Force and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, and Congressman Trey Hollingsworth hosted Gen. Goldfein Jan.8 on his first ever visit to Crane for tours of several laboratories and a regional stakeholder luncheon. The visit signifies an important opportunity for Crane to showcase its work, and with its continually increasing support of U.S. Air Force programs; there is the increasing potential for an Air Force presence at Crane.
Technology developed at Crane serves every branch of the U.S. Military and its programs provide the platforms to answer some of the most critical issues facing national security today, including those related to air, ground and submarine-launched missiles and electronic warfare, which is essential in removing the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) faced by our men and women in combat. During the visit General Godfein commented, that Crane should “never underestimate the importance of its culture of innovation.”
The lunch program for Gen. Goldfein focused on “innovation ecosystems,” which is Crane’s proven methodology to capitalize on our state’s assets to assist in the development of new technology and initiatives. Through state and regional partnerships, Crane brings together thought leaders from a broad spectrum of public and private sector experts, state defense agencies, universities, and regional partners such as Radius Indiana, Regional Opportunity Initiatives, and the newly formed, Applied Research Institute.
This regional approach means that not only are the best and brightest minds at work to solve some of our nation’s greatest challenges, but that there is a wide range of resources and organizations at work to ensure Crane has the infrastructure, workforce and support it needs to complete its missions. This network of partners has helped create the now nationally known innovation culture that exists right here in Southern Indiana, and has demonstrated it is committed strengthening the ecosystem.
Radius Indiana applauds the efforts of those at Crane and all of the regional stakeholders who made Gen. Goldfein’s visit a success--our region was again able to shine in a national spotlight and reinforce Crane’s value, which helps keep this important asset a thriving part of our local economy.

Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support

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BEDFORD, Ind. (Feb. 28, 2018) - Radius Indiana held its annual stakeholders luncheon on Tuesday at the French Lick Resort where nearly 150 attendees gathered to learn about the organization's events planned for 2018. Radius also presented, for the first time, the Radius Top 10 Economic Development Projects of the past year.
French Lick, Ind. (Feb. 27, 2018) --- Today, for the first time, Radius Indiana revealed the Top 10 Economic Development Projects from around the region at its annual Stakeholders Meeting at the French Lick Resort. More than 50 projects were submitted by regional stakeholders, who were then asked to vote on the 20 top projects that made the most impact in the Radius region in 2017. More than 100 stakeholders from across the region weighed in to create the list.
BEDFORD, Ind. (Feb. 23, 2018) --- Radius Indiana and South Central Indiana Economic Development partnered to promote their respective Indiana regions as co-hosts of an event for site selectors from Columbus, Ohio business advisory firms last week.
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