If you build a place people want to visit,

You’ll build a place where people want to live.

If you build a place people want to live,

You’ll build a place where people want to work.

If you build a place where people want to work,

You’ll build a place where business needs to be.

If you build a place where business needs to be,

You’ll build a place where people want to visit.


Tourism Economic Impact Methodology

Tourism spending has a ripple effect; it doesn’t just end at a business. Visitors make a direct impact by spending at a tourism-related business. That directly impacted business makes an indirect impact by purchasing from their suppliers. The visitor spending then makes an induced impact as their dollars support the wages of business employees, which will be spent back into the economy.


Economic Impact Framework


Travel plays an essential role in communities, across every industry and the economy, through both leisure and business travel. The tourism industry employs over 301,000 Missourians, with nearly 3,900 jobs in Cole County.


The Missouri State Penitentiary (MSP), one of Jefferson City’s most prominent and unique historical landmarks, draws visitors from all over the world. In 2023, MSP hosted visitors from eight countries and all 50 states. The tour season brought 29,059 domestic and international visitors, with over 6,500 students touring as part of their history curriculum.


Tourism’s impact does not end with the attraction but grows with the money spent in local businesses. In addition to three film projects, MSP’s 2023 tour season resulted in $888,962 total generated revenue and a $3.5 million economic attendance expenditure from visitor spending on hotels, dining, and other local businesses.


This is especially true with not only leisure travel but also with business travel. Contrary to popular belief, people still travel for work-related conferences post pandemic. Having in-person encounters is vital for developing relationships with customers, suppliers, and building organizational awareness. While business travel has been slow to rebound, it continues to steadily increase.



With the newly proposed hotel and conference center in downtown Jefferson City, new jobs will be created, and we can welcome more business travelers who will generate tax revenue for the city and state. Their spending at hotels, restaurants, shops, gas stations, recreational activities, and other tourism-related businesses will funnel sales tax back into capital improvements and services to our community.  One business trip can also lead to repeat leisure visitation, which continues to support the local economy. 


Leisure travel is important. Business travel is important. Travel powers the economy, connects America, and is beneficial for the flourishment of Jefferson City.