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Destination Ann Arbor: Visitor spending reaches $832 million in Washtenaw County

Credit: Destination Ann Arbor
Credit: Destination Ann Arbor

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ANN ARBORDestination Ann Arbor is proud to announce the results of a study quantifying the beneficial impact of tourism and visitor spending on the Washtenaw County economy. Tourism in Washtenaw County continues to thrive.

This study of 2018 data was conducted by Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm focusing on public policy, business valuation, and market and industry analysis. A similar study was commissioned to examine 2016 travel data, which allows visualization of the increasingly positive economic impact generated by the area tourism industry.

Key takeaways from the study of 2018 data highlight the enormous value of a thriving tourism industry within and around Ann Arbor. Visitor spending is essential to growing the local economy and workforce.

In 2018, Washtenaw County saw 3.9 million visitors, generating $832 million in visitor spending for the local economy. That figure represents money that goes right into the cash registers of local businesses, restaurants, shops, and more.

Mary Kerr, President and CEO of Destination Ann Arbor, says, “At Destination Ann Arbor we are honored to steward the growth of the tourism industry in Washtenaw County. The increasing flow of visitor dollars represented in this study contributes tremendously to the growth of local businesses and continues to create and support well-paying jobs and long-term careers for our community members.”

Visitor spending in Washtenaw County supports 9,487 full-time equivalent jobs and provides $253 million in income for local workers across all communities in the county.

Sean Duval, Chair of Destination Ann Arbor’s Board of Directors, says of the data, “The non-resident tax revenue generated by the visitor economy funds many of the things that truly matter to our residents – education, safety, and the essential services that allow our communities to operate day to day and thrive in the long term. The quality of life for residents is improved by this economic boost, and so too is the quality of place for visitors.”

According to the study, 2018 visitor spending generated $37.1 million in state and local tax revenue that provides an array of essential public services including K-12 education, law enforcement, local libraries and parks, road services, and more. The study also found that, overall, direct and indirect visitor spending generated $1.2 billion in economic impact in Washtenaw County.

About Destination Ann Arbor

Destination Ann Arbor is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of Washtenaw County through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight visitors. For more information, visit www.destinationannarbor.org.

This story was sponsored by Destination Ann Arbor.