O’Brien County, Iowa — O’Brien County was recognized at the 2015 Iowa Tourism Conference for completing their County Tourism Asset Inventory. The county inventory was conducted as part of the Iowa Tourism Industry Sector Plan, a statewide planning process designed to develop a shared vision and plan to maintain, and grow, Iowa’s competitive position as a destination.
Ninety of Iowa’s 99 counties completed the inventory designed to quantify tourism assets in Iowa. Information collected for the inventory focused on tourism services, lodging, meeting facilities, shopping, attractions, arts & entertainment, agri-tourism & culinary, nature, trails, recreation & sports; along with any plans for expansion or new projects over the next three years. The asset inventory will be used to identify strengths and potential opportunities within various sectors of the tourism industry.
The Iowa Tourism Industry Sector Plan is built on the vision and input gathered from hundreds of Iowa’s tourism stakeholders. The plan sets the stage for these stakeholders to join together to strengthen Iowa’s tourism product by growing and fully utilizing tourism assets; working in collaboration and pooling resources to strengthen Iowa’s tourism marketing; and working to build broad appreciation and support for the tourism industry as a major economic driver for Iowa.
According to the Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties, tourism is an over $8 billion industry in Iowa and supports an estimated 66,500 jobs and generated a total of $347.7 million in tax revenues in 2014.
Sponsors of the Iowa Tourism Industry Sector Plan include the Iowa Destination Marketing Association, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Travel Federation of Iowa, Okoboji Tourism Committee, Central Iowa Tourism Region, Eastern Iowa Tourism Association, Iowa Gaming Association, Western Iowa Tourism Region, Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau, Cedar Rapids Area CVB, Fort Dodge CVB, Greater Des Moines CVB, Marshalltown CVB, Pella CVB, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Council Bluffs CVB, Danish Mill, Greater Burlington CVB, Harrison County Historical Village & Welcome Center, Mike & Lisa Riggs, Ottumwa Area CVB and Visit Mason City. The Sector Plan was developed with assistance from The Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa, and built on input from a diverse group of tourism stakeholders.