As reporters for the Indiana Chamber’s BizVoice® magazine, the communications staff of the Indiana Chamber often get to experience some of what makes Indiana truly unique. One of my favorite series, our Road Trip Treasures package from 2018, allowed us to travel the state and experience and write about various Indiana tourist attractions and events.

On our respective road trips (you can read all six stories at, we experienced Hoosier basketball and political history, visited little-known places in Hamilton County, attended the circus in Peru, dined at the Whiting Pierogi Fest and rested in the hills of Brown County in Story, Indiana.

It turns out that what we found – that tourism is doing very well in Indiana and that there are plenty of things to see and do all around the state – is backed up by a new study from Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD).

We visited the Peru Amateur Circus in July.

Information shows that Indiana’s tourism industry enjoyed a record $12.7 billion in visitor spending last year, according to an IOTD press release.

Here are some of the highlights of the report:

  • The number of visitors to Indiana destinations increased to 80 million
  • Total visitor spending reached $12.7 billion
  • Overnight visits rose to 31.2 million
  • Spending per visitor rose to $158
  • Visitor spending added $9.8B to the state’s gross domestic product
  • Out of each dollar spent, $0.72 stays in Indiana
  • Tourism generated $1.4B in state and local taxes
  • Indiana tourism supported 199,830 full-time jobs
  • Hoosier households saved an average of $561

The study was commissioned by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development and conducted by Rockport Analytics, an independent market research and consulting company that specializes in economic impact and feasibility studies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The methodology employed by this study is in accordance with industry best practices and aligns economic impact data at the state and local level with rigorous methodological standards that are recognized as the highest in the industry.

The study used data on Indiana visitor spending derived from multiple sources including Longwoods International, Reach Market Planning and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel & Tourism Office. It was then reconciled with Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment data, Indiana Department of Revenue reported tax receipts and secondary sources such as Smith Travel Research.

The infographic illustrates some key data points in the economic report. It can be found on the Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s website,

Charlee Beasor is the communications & PR manager for the Indiana Chamber. She is also a writer for the Chamber’s award-winning BizVoice magazine and has been with the organization for eight years.