CEDAR RAPIDS — Visitors to the Cedar Rapids area spent more money last year than they did in 2009, according to a study released by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Certec Inc., which performs a study every other year for the CVB, said travel and tourism spending was $440 million in 2011, up 4.9 percent from 2009.
Cedar Rapids area travel expenditures were driven partly by conventions and sporting events secured by the convention and visitors bureau.
Conventions and sporting events held in the Cedar Rapids area in 2011 included the Iowa Optometric Association Conference, NAFSA-Association of International Educators Iowa Conference, and the Amateur Softball Association Men’s A 16” East Slow Pitch National Tournament.
Payroll income and jobs directly attributed to travel spending totaled $101 million and nearly 5,600 jobs in 2011, up from 5,400 jobs in 2009. State tax generated from visitors to Linn County in 2011 totaled $31.7 million, up from $29 million in 2009 and local tax derived from visitors was $12 million, up from $11 million two years earlier.
Nearly 2.4 million persons made Cedar Rapids or Linn County their destination in 2011, compared with 2.3 million in 2009.
In fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012), the CVB was directly responsible for booking and servicing 71 conventions, meetings, group tours and events resulting in more than 119,922 visitors to the area. Those visitors contributed more than $14.1 million to the local economy.
For every dollar of hotel/motel tax the CVB invested in tourism sales and marketing initiatives in fiscal year 2012, the return on investment was $20.81 of direct spending in the community, up from $19.84 last year.