“This is the second consecutive year we’ve topped $8 billion in tourism-related expenditures,” Jessica O’Riley, the spokesperson for the Iowa Tourism Office said.
Low gas prices are getting much of the credit. The annual study is conducted by the U.S. Travel Association. It shows tourism-related expenditures in Iowa in 2015 totaled $8.06 billion.
“State tax receipts topped a record $466.7 million. That’s a 25 percent increase over 2014,” O’Riley said. The large increase in state tax receipts was fueled by a 10 cent per gallon hike in the gas tax that took effect last year. O’Riley noted there are indications more people are making plans to travel to Iowa.
“We saw an increase on traveliowa.com, user sessions set a record at almost 1.3 million, and requests for our travel guide were up almost 20 percent,” O’Riley said. The report indicates tourism in Iowa supported 67,400 jobs, comprising 4.2 percent of total non-farm employment in 2015.