Tourism Spikes in Nebraska & Valley County

The summer travel season is winding down with students back at school, families shuffling to and from extracurricular practices and performances and business owners preparing for the upcoming fourth quarter.

Although summertime travel is dwindling, annual tourism activity is flourishing.

The Nebraska Tourism Commission recently published a press release sharing their excitement around Nebraska’s highest lodging tax collection on record as of their 2017-2018 fiscal year end. Collections totaled $5,689,254 from July 2017 through June 2018, a 6.98% increase from the previous year.

The exponential growth of Nebraska’s lodging tax collections can be attributed to our state’s intentional effort to invite people from out of state to visit. John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism Commission Executive Director, explains “We targeted out-of-state markets for the crane migration and 2018 summer campaign, the Nebraska Passport Program continues to grow and the Solar Eclipse took place in this fiscal year, all things that factored in to our 6.98 percent growth rate.”

Read the Nebraska Tourism Commission’s Complete Press Release

Valley County’s lodging tax revenue has spiked in recent years as well due to an enhanced focus on artistic, cultural and historical festivals, our community’s increased capacity to host large events and receptions as well as community-wide promotion of area businesses, amenities and destinations.

During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, Valley County’s lodging tax revenue experienced a 21% increase from the previous year, generating $34,683.25 in collections. Additionally, the 2016-2017 collections increased by 137% compared to 2015-2016 collections.

Valley County’s 5% lodging tax is paid by visitors when they stay at any hotel, guest house or bed and breakfast in Valley County. One percent of the tax is designated for state use and the remaining four percent comes back to Valley County and is equally split between the County Visitors Promotion Fund and the County Visitors Improvement Fund.

Dollars in these two funds are designed for use by Valley County Tourism, a volunteer committee appointed by the Valley County Supervisors. Funds have recently been used for advertising in the Nebraska Traveler publication, Nebraska Tourism’s Visit Nebraska travel guide and for a series of ads promoting Valley County in Nebraska Life magazine. Lodging tax funds were also used, along with advertising revenue, to publish the new Venture to Valley County travel guide which is available at no cost for community members and potential visitors.

The tourism industry largely influences the business climate for our state and county, as it is the third largest industry in Nebraska.  Contact the Valley County Tourism office at (308) 728-7875 to learn how your business can capitalize on this consumer market by utilizing Valley County and Nebraska Tourism resources.

Additional Nebraska Tourism References

Reports & Statistics | State/County Lodging Tax Reports | Nebraska Tourism
The Economic Impact of the Travel Industry | U.S. Travel Association


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