Visitor spending in Nebraska increased in 2018

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Spending by people traveling in Nebraska totaled $3.4 billion in 2018, according to a new study by Dean Runyan Associates.

“This is the second year in a row that visitor expenditures have increased in the state after a number of years of flat or modest growth,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director. “The 5.4 percent increase in 2018 was significantly larger than the 1.9 percent pace the previous year and it’s the first time in a long time that Nebraska has outpaced the average growth rate nationally.”

The national average growth rate for 2018 was 4.1 percent. This travel spending includes purchases made on accommodations, food and beverage, ground transportation, retail sales and more.

“In 2018, we focused on inviting people who weren’t from Nebraska to explore everything this state has to offer,” said Ricks. “Out-of-state visitors tend to stay longer and spend more and we are seeing that through this increase in visitor spending. It’s exciting to see our industry growing at a healthy rate.”

This 2018 travel spending is equivalent to approximately $9.2 million per day. Visitor spending has a significant impact on the economy in the state. Direct travel spending in Nebraska generated 40,300 jobs with earnings of $750 million in 2018.