Communities, counties and states rely on visitors to the community for tax revenues, business development and employment generation.

Events, such as the Boer Goat National Show and the Red Angus Cattle Show bring outside dollars into the community and create jobs, both through direct employment within the tourism industry and indirectly in sectors such as retail, food and beverage services, and transportation.

When these visitors spend dollars on goods and services, it leads to what is known as the multiplier effect, creating more economic growth in associated businesses and, ultimately, employment of additional staff.

To give you a sense of the local economic impact of travel and tourism in Hall County, visitors spent $134 million in 2016. Industry earnings generated by travel spending in the leisure, hospitality, retail and transportation areas was $29.6 million. The number of jobs in Hall County directly supported by tourism grew from 1,380 to 1,550 in 2010. It also generated $11.2 million in tax revenues in 2016 for state and local government.

The immediate impact visitors have on our community is just as important as the potential for these individuals to see the community and its amenities. Although attending the event may be the “first date” for these people, it can also lead to individuals living and working in Central Nebraska.

The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce and its partners (Fonner Park, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Nebraska State Fair) work diligently to recruit livestock and agricultural shows to Grand Island. Our attraction and retail businesses help to showcase all the positive attributes of our community.

Thank you for the role you play in ensuring our visitors have a great experience in Grand Island.

Cindy Johnson is the president of the Grand Island Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at (308) 382-9210 or

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