October 16, 2015 (Des Moines, Iowa) – The Iowa Tourism Office has released new data showing continued growth in the state’s tourism industry. In 2014, travel-generated expenditures in Muscatine County totaled $80.25 million, an increase of 4.29 percent over 2013.

Over the past five years, travel-generated expenditures for the entire state of Iowa have increased by an average of 5.94 percent, beating the five year national average of 5.78 percent. According to the study, “The Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties,” travelers spent $8.06 billion in Iowa and generated $374 million in state tax revenues in 2014, both all-time highs.

In Muscatine County, travelers generated $4.33 million in states taxes and $950,000 in local taxes.

The report also revealed that more than 66,500 Iowans owe their employment to the tourism industry, a 1.6 percent increase from 2013. Without jobs generated by domestic travel, Iowa’s 2014 unemployment rate of 4.4 percent would have been 8.3 percent. The tourism industry employs 700 people in Muscatine County.

“I believe we’ll continue to see the travel industry’s impact in Muscatine County grow,” said Muscatine Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Ky Cochran. “I look forward to increased opportunity to share all of the county’s incredible offerings with more and more travelers – and to further boost our economy as a result.”

“Based on preliminary numbers we’re seeing for this year, we have every reason to believe our growth will continue,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Tourism Office. “In 2015 we expect about 1.5 million people to visit our website, traveliowa.com, an increase of approximately 40 percent from 2014.”

The entire report is available online in .pdf format and includes state- and county-specific data.

In Muscatine County, travel-generated expenditures in 2014 totaled $80.25 million, employed 700 people and generated $4.33 million in state taxes and $950,000 in local taxes. Tourism in Iowa generates $8.06 billion in expenditures, employs 66,500 people statewide and generates $374 million in state taxes.