KC breaks tourism records with 24M visitors

Posted at 6:52 AM, Oct 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-02 07:52:04-04

The Kansas City region reached a new record with 24 million visitors in 2014, according to new research released Thursday.

It’s a 5 percent increase from the previous record in 2012, when Kansas City welcomed 22.1 million visitors, according to a news release from Visit KC, the city’s hospitality and tourism organization.

Click here for more research from Visit KC

Visit KC commissioned the research. The studies, conducted every two years, look at the economic impact of tourism and the profile of travelers to the Kansas City-area, according to a news release from Visit KC.

According to Visit KC, findings from the economic impact study include:

  • Visitor spending grew to a record $3.1 billion in 2014, growing 12 percent in two years.
  • Tourism generated a record $5.1 billion in economic impact for the region, including indirect and induced.
  • Visitors to Kansas City spent $845 million at hotels and motels in the region in 2014-$73 million more when compared year over year.  
  • Tourism-generated employment reached a new high of 46,621 jobs, continuing a multi-year growth trend. One in 19 jobs in the region (5.2 percent) is sustained by tourism either directly or indirectly.
  • In 2014, tourism to the region generated $153 million in state taxes and $202 million in local taxes.
  • Taxes paid by visitors saved the average Kansas City household $525 in taxes in 2014.

The new research shows continued growth in tourism spending throughout the metro, according to Visit KC’s news release. Jackson County accounted for the highest percentage of visitor spending at 48 percent, and Wyandotte County accounted for the least at 6 percent, the news release stated.

According to Visit KC, findings from the visitor profile study include: 

  • The average visitor is a 42-year-old male, traveling with a party size of 2.6 people.
  • Daily spending per visitor is $63.33 and the average length of stay 2.4 nights.
  • Thirty-eight percent of travelers stay in a hotel, and 90 percent travel to the destination by car.
  • Kansas City's largest origin markets by state are Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Iowa, California and Illinois.

Visit KC says the Kansas City-area in the study is defined by the counties of Jackson, Clay, Platte, Johnson and Wyandotte.

Click here for a full breakdown of the 2014 Visitor Profile and Economic Impact Research Highlights. 


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