Commission reviews tourism in Evansville

Commission reviews tourism in Evansville
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:19 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Tonight, Evansville leaders are reviewing tourism in the area.

The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Convention & Visitors Commission went over data from some of the past year’s events to see how much business they brought to the Tri-State.

As 14 News reports, they’ve seen some promising numbers, but they’re looking to make the area a bigger draw.

They really pinpointed a lot of the events that have been hosted here and took a look at who visited the area for those.

What they’re finding is that these events while popular, aren’t necessarily drawing in folks from far away.

Explore Evansville President Alexis Berggren says if you want an area to grow, you need new folks to come here.

“Tourism is such and important life cycle of the business development side of things as well, and so we want to make sure that people have a good experience here and have all the attractions and amenities that they need,” she says.

Simply put, if a visitor likes the area, maybe they’ll stay, maybe they’ll start a business or at least support local ones, and the economy grows.

So at the latest Convention & Visitors Commission they reviewed the outcome of some events like the USSSA Softball Tournament at Deaconess Sports Park.

“We’re forecasting about $11 million in economic impact from the tournaments that were held at Deaconess specifically, and another $7 million from the tournaments that were held at Goebel soccer complex,” explains Berggren.

Still she says they might not have as far a reach as they’d like.

“We’re seeing a lot of the traffic is coming from more regional destinations so we’re not seeing maybe the increase in hotel rooms that we’re seeing in visitation, so we’re looking at how we can approach that moving forward,” she says.

She tells us that having that kind of data helps to adjust attractions to make the area more appealing.

“We also know where people are coming from now. So if we wanted to lets say increase visitation from the Louisville market, we would enact some strategies very specific to that effort.”

She says folks are coming to Evansville, they just want to make sure they stay a little while longer.

This is one of their monthly meetings, and those are ramping up focus on next year.

We’re close to six months out from the eclipse, so all tourism efforts are focused on getting the most of what’s sure to be a flood of visitors when that time comes.