According to a study lead by the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the economic impact of tourism on Nebraska during the Sandhill crane migration is was $14.3 million in 2017.
Every spring, more than 600,000 Sandhill cranes stop in Nebraska's Platte River valley before heading further North to breeding grounds.
The cranes lead to tourists, who spend money. The study said 46,500 people visited Central Nebraska during the crane migration and 93 percent were from outside of the region. The tourists spent an average of $93.37 each day.
“Tourism is Nebraska’s third-largest revenue source, so it’s important for our local economy,” said study coauthor Bree Dority, associate dean of the UNK College of Business and Technology and associate professor of economics. “This is one aspect of tourism, and it’s particularly important for the central Nebraska region.”
In total, the annual migration is responsible for 182 full-time jobs.