Summer tourism brings big boost for small cities

KIMT News 3 - As the weather gets warmer most people will be looking for more fun things to do outside, which is exactly why folks with Travel Iowa hit the road in search of inexpensive and entertaining summer activities.

Those with the program called it their “Epic Road Trip,” and it was pretty epic as they stopped in 46 counties in just nine days and enjoyed more than 60 attractions.

One of their stops was in Charles City, a town known well for it’s whitewater rafting course.

Ginger Williams, the Charles City Chamber of Commerce Director of Tourism, says that bringing people in to town is crucial for having a successful summer.

For Williams, this recognition is just the beginning of what she believes will be a huge success for their area.

“This is a great way to showcase some of the awesome attractions and destination that there are here in Iowa,” Williams says, “and we’re excited to be one of them.”

Tourism is an important aspect of growing an economy and Charles City isn’t the only town hoping to do achieve this.

Clear Lake always get a little bit busier as the warm weather hits with folks heading to cabins or enjoying time out on the lake.

A lot of the economic growth in Clear Lake depends on summer tourism and Libbey Patton, director of tourism with the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce, says that so far, they’re off to a great start.

“We’ve had our hotels already fill up and have had quite a few guests stay there already, even though the weather hasn’t quite turned yet,” Patton says.

But just how much can summer tourism add to an economy of this size?

Patton says that Cerro Gordo County brings in more than $190 million each year.

Those numbers are hard to ignore, so applying to be a part of something like The Epic Road Trip is an important thing to do to raise awareness to others about what your city has to offer.

Most attractions across the state are something you would have to travel to get to, and according to the Travel Iowa reports, roughly $776 million is spent on public transportation each year, and an estimated $780 million is spent on lodging.

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