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Local businesses feeling positive impact from high Omaha tourism

Posted at 11:02 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-24 00:02:51-04

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — Visitor spending has hit an all time high in Omaha , according to new research done by Tourism Economics.

"$1.3 billion was spent by visitors last year alone," VP of Marketing Commmunication for Visit Omaha Debora Ward said.

A new report from tourism economics shows a 6.5% increase in spending from 2016, a total of $80 million more in just a two year span.

"Think about those visitors when they come, they are spending money at the hotels, they are spending money at the restaurant and attractions, at the gas station. It really impacts our local economy. They are importing cash into our city," Ward said.

According to this economic research, half of every visitor dollar is spent on eating, drinking and shopping. This, of course impacting local businesses and some local owners in The Old Market couldn't agree more.

"Business has been wonderful. We had a great summer, and it's continuing into October," M's Pub owner Ann Mellen said. "Normally, October might be a bit slow - but not this October. Business has been great."

"We get lots of local, by many many visitors," Chocolate Abeille owner Tina Tweedy said. "We get people from all over the country and all over the world visit The Old Market."

These business owners say The Old Market offers a historic feel, where as development to the west adds more to explore for tourists.

Visit Omaha, agrees.

"From what we know, all of these entertaining neighborhoods like The Old Market and Benson and Blackstone add to the visitor experience," Ward said.

Ward says the private industry backs these tourism numbers, as well.

She says the city will see another thousand hotel rooms go up in the Omaha market next year.