La Vista, Neb. (Oct. 17, 2017)— When the moon brought the state into darkness, Nebraska’s tourism industry was in the spotlight. Tuesday, the Nebraska Tourism Commission along with Lt. Governor Mike Foley announced the remarkable results of an economic impact study done by Dean Runyan Associates and Destination Analysts, Inc. regarding the Great American Eclipse.
It is estimated that over 708,000 people traveled to watch the 2017 Solar Eclipse in Nebraska. Approximately 87 percent of those from out-of-state. Making the eclipse, Nebraska’s greatest single tourist event on record.
“This data confirms the magnitude of the solar eclipse’s impact and we couldn’t be more pleased,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director. “The amazing one-time event was big business for our industry and beyond. We hope travelers were inspired to share stories about their Nebraska experience and to visit again.”
● The economic impact across the state totaled an estimated $127 million, from lodging and travel expenditures
● On average, visitors spent three days in the state
● A total of 92.7 percent of out-of-state visitors said the eclipse was the reason for their visit to Nebraska. 60.6 percent of out-of-state visitors said they would not have made this trip to Nebraska has it not been for the Solar Eclipse
●Prior to this trip, 70.9 percent of out-of-state visitors had not visited Nebraska in the past three years on a purely leisure trip (not to visit friends or relatives). However, when asked, nearly 40 percent said they are likely to visit Nebraska in the next 2 years; 45 percent said they are likely to return in the next 2-5 years
● Media coverage of the event also provided free publicity with an estimated value over $133 million
During the opening lunch of the 2017 Nebraska Tourism Conference, where these numbers were announced, Lt. Governor Foley said, “The eclipse was the perfect opportunity to show off our great state to hundreds of thousands of people. I want to praise the efforts of the Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Nebraska Eclipse Coalition in making August 21, 2017, a safe and pleasurable experience for so many people.”
Lt. Governor Foley recognized the ten cities involved in the coalition with a certificate of excellence. Those cities are Alliance, Beatrice, Gering, Hastings, Grand Island, Kearney, Lincoln, North Platte, Omaha and Scottsbluff.