Strong tourism in Johnson City impacts locals’ wallets

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau says strong tourism in the fall season has a large economic impact on the community.

Just in the past two months, the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau says there were over 7,500 visitors to the area.

While tourists are emptying out their pocketbooks and spending their money downtown, Washington County residents are saving money in their own pocketbooks.

The Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year, almost $300 million were generated in direct tourism in Washington County.

As a Result, residents of the county paid $424.68 less in local and state taxes.

“Our tourism numbers for September and October were $5 million for visitor spending. That didn’t include any of the staples that are here on an annual basis. As each community grows it’s assets, it only helps the other communities. So we’ve see that change come about, opportunity in the last couple years that’s very important to us when we are marketing to visitors,” said Brenda Whitson, Executive Director Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

When marketing to visitors, the Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau focuses on millennials and young families coming into the area who enjoy things like outdoor activities.

Other festivals and events like the Built To Ride Tour and the Bands of America Regional Competition helped to bring in millions of dollars to the area for the September and October months.

David Hampton just moved to Johnson City and says the many things to do downtown was a big appeal in his moving decision.

“I’m a Tennessee native but I’m from the other end of the state, and we wanted to come somewhere where there was a lot of growth. Johnson City has a lot to offer because it has the feel of a small town and a small city but at the same time it has a lot of the same features you find in larger metro areas usually,” said Hampton.

The Johnson City Convention and Visitors Bureau works to recruit events, festivals, and tournaments so more visitors will come to the area.

They then market to those visitors through social and online media.

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