The strongest tourism locations are in the mountains, on the beach, or where there is a heavy presence of gambling and partying. Tourism domination is not visitor counts or dollars generated, but instead, a dependence on tourism as the economic engine of the community. Large urban areas have high numbers of visitors, but they also have a wide variety of other economic drivers within their counties. Urban areas have businesses that support their citizenry: doctors, car repair facilities, gyms, insurance offices, accountants, financial advisors, and the like. Additionally, most large urban areas also have export businesses where they export goods and services such as computer software, car parts, pharmaceuticals, or industrial machinery. This economic activity diminishes an area’s dominance on tourism.
Approximately 20% of economic activity in most of the nation’s communities could be consumed by tourists. The most tourism-dominant large county is Clark County, Nevada, with 30% of its economic activity depending on tourism and 42% of its employment based in tourism industries. In smaller jurisdictions, those numbers can be as high as 60%. Sevier County, Tennessee is the most tourist dependent county in the country. Taney County, Missouri, falls in right after Sevier County and Clark County.
Sevier and Taney Counties are both mountain destinations near large population centers, which make them relatively inexpensive destinations for families. Ocean City, Maryland’s Worcester County is the highest-ranking beach community, with Atlantic City, New Jersey (Atlantic County) and Cape May County, New Jersey (Cape May, Ocean City, and Wildwood) following closely after. Again, proximity to nearby large urban areas help drive this tourist activity in these areas.
Where does your county stand? Is being tourist dominated a good thing? If you are a mid-size county or smaller, is there a way to have your cake and eat it too? Can you have tourism, but also enjoy a variety of other economic drivers? For more information, go to https://abryteidea.com/contact-us. To learn more about the Tourism Economic Dominance Index (TEDI), check out abryteidea.com/tedi. Or call Pam Caskie at 308-760-6727.