What Is Tourism?
For most people, they think of tourism as a vacation with an overnight stay in a hotel. However, in actuality – tourism is so much more!
Tourism is actually anything that is a “destination experience” – in other words – the destination is the reason for your travel. And, if you travel from outside of our county – into our county – – then you are a “tourist” or a least a “visitor.” A visitor’s taxes do not regularly support our local economy because they do not live here. However, when they do visit, they bring in large amounts of revenue to our economy through the things they buy, the experiences they choose to do, and the places they visit. Tourism not only brings in revenue to businesses, but it also brings in tax dollars through food and beverage tax, gas tax, sales tax, and innkeeper’s tax. Tourism revenue also helps create jobs in the restaurant, retail, hotel, entertainment, and recreation industry as well as improving the quality of life for visitors and local residents. Tourism is very important to our community.
A tourist visit could be as simple as dinner in a unique restaurant, or it could be visiting a special shop in a town that carries something you like. It is also going to any festival, event, speaker, or entertainment that is outside of your home base. Likewise, it is also traveling to visit an attraction, a museum, a historic site, or an art gallery. It is also going a distance to listen to music whether it is in a bar, on the plaza, or on the stage. It is going to the theater, a play, the movies, a performance, or recital. It is also going with the travel league, playing a match or a game of golf, hiking, walking riding and swimming in a pool. – – These are ALL tourist activities and most of them do NOT require an overnight stay. However, if they take you from out of your county – into another county – – that IS tourism!
Hancock County also benefits from its location. Since it is close to Indianapolis, we tend to get the “overflow” from large events. While Indy hosts several large sporting events and conventions, they frequently do not have enough hotel space for everyone. In that case, Greenfield benefits by having our hotels all nicely located at the exit nearest the interstate. These overflow folks can just travel a short distance and be at their event. Our Greenfield hotels are also often less expensive, do not charge for parking, have several nearby amenities – such as a wide selection of restaurants, and they are inherently safer than downtown Indy. In addition, there are no large hotel chains between Greenfield and Richmond. So this means for any big event in Henry County or some of the other surrounding counties – we get those visitors to stay with us too. Therefore, our hotels are quite appealing for their location – and for what our town has to offer.
I have been told that many people believe Hancock County has no tourism or very little tourism, – – but as you can see from this simple explanation of what tourism is – – There are many things that our county has for tourists and visitors. Day trip opportunities, leisure travel, special festivals, and events – bring all sorts of visitors from outside of our county into our county for that destination experience. Furthermore, our location makes us a prime player in large events happening nearby. Yes Hancock County has lots of tourism!