LINCOLN, Neb. (August 28, 2019) – Nebraska Tourism ended the 2018-2019 fiscal year with the highest lodging tax collection of all time. The total collection from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019 was $5,922,077, a growth rate of 4.09 percent from the previous fiscal year.
The one percent lodging tax that funds Nebraska Tourism is just the tip of the iceberg when describing the economic impact of tourism in Nebraska. For example, June’s $886,725 statewide lodging tax receipt is the largest monthly amount collected ever, which translates into $88.7 million in revenue for paid accommodations across the state. Further, because lodging is only about 20 percent of total visitor spending, according to Dean Runyan Associates, tourism’s total contribution to the Nebraska economy in June was about $443.4 million.
The tourism industry includes a variety of different business segments including accommodations, restaurants, events, attractions, history, arts, entertainment and more. The impact of visitor spending in Nebraska has been reported annually since 2003 by Dean Runyan Associates who assisted Nebraska Tourism in understanding the impact of the one percent lodging tax revenue to obtain a more accurate picture of the economic impact of visitor spending. A new Runyan report will be released at this year’s Nebraska Tourism Conference in North Platte, October 22-24.
“The first major factor driving this success includes moving marketing dollars out of state to target potential visitors from Denver, Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka, Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis. Out-of-state visitors tend to not only stay longer and spend more, but they bring new dollars into the economy,” said John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission executive director. “The second major factor is the announcement and subsequent kick off of the “Honesty, it’s not for everyone” campaign that significantly increased awareness of Nebraska as a destination and results so far indicate that visitation and spending is growing rapidly.”
On a fiscal year basis, six of the 12 months set all-time high records, August, September, November, January, May and June. Additionally, the month of June beat out the previous June record from 2016, the summer the last U.S. Olympic Swim Trials took place in Omaha.
In addition, website traffic to VisitNebraska.com has increased dramatically since the new campaign was announced in October 2018. Nearly 90,000 more people have visited the site, a 30 percent increase year over year.
More information about Nebraska state/county lodging tax can be found here: https://visitnebraska.com/