I’ve been saying for some time, “tourism numbers in Vigo County are on the rise.” Recently not just by words, but economic impact numbers have shown the increase in tourism, including the rise in the innkeeper’s tax, which helps us keep our community visitor ready. I like to remind people that these are dollars coming into our community from visitors, not the local taxpayers. Why is this important? As Terre Haute/Vigo County competes for its share of the tourism market we have to elevate our own expectations. Visitors want a unique experience, and there is no doubt we’re working in that very direction. With the Terre Haute Convention Center around the corner, the possibility of a casino and many more outdoor recreation and event attractions, we’re not just competing, we’re competing to win.
Today’s visit by the Indiana Tourism Bureau presents a sign that we’re not the only ones that think Terre Haute/Vigo County is on the forefront of positive change in this area. Nine counties out of 92 across the state were chosen as host locations as part of the Indiana Tourism Bureau’s information collection tour. Indiana’s newly appointed Tourism Director, Misty Weisensteiner, made the listening tour a priority in the state’s action to create a strategic plan to growing its tourism numbers. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)’s Global Tourism and Destinations team and Longwoods International organized the visits and are collecting the data to compile an overall state plan. You can say I was more than pleased to see we were chosen as a priority location.
It’s only just begun. We have more of the story to tell in the coming days, months and years, but for now, take notice! Terre Haute/Vigo County is rising to the top as a tourism destination where people want to come and spend a day or two, or more. It’s our job to elevate our own expectations, create quality visits and keep telling the story on repeat. As far as today, I’m grateful Director Weisensteiner and her team saw something in Terre Haute/Vigo County, just as we do. We’re not just worthy, but we’re ready.
-David Patterson, Executive Director of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitor’s Bureau