Tourism Bounceback for Jefferson County & Madison

Tourism Bounceback for Jefferson County & Madison
March 7, 2023
Visit Madison logo

For Immediate Release:


March 7th, 2023 | Madison, Indiana

Visit Madison, Inc. (VMI) is pleased to announce the most recent results from Rockport Analytics detailing the impact of tourism on Madison and Jefferson County.

The statistics are from the year 2021, and shows the extraordinary bounceback that the community is seeing in post-pandemic visitation.

“The economic impact of tourism in this report is a direct result of the investment that our community made even during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit Madison Executive Marketing Director Sarah Prasil has worked tirelessly with the Jefferson County Board of Tourism to ensure that the community is marketed well, and this is the result of that investment. Tourism means so much to our businesses and residents, and it is exciting to see it bear fruit,” said Andrew Forrester, Visit Madison Executive Tourism Director, additionally “below are numbers to note that all of us can be proud of”.

Local Impact of Tourism:

  • Total visitor spending in 2021 in Jefferson County totaled $51.5 million, which is a 25% increase over 2020, and a 13% increase from the previous best year ever in 2019.
  • In 2021, Jefferson County Direct Tourism Industry GDP was $17.4 million, and supported 580 jobs which makes it the 5th largest non-government industry in Jefferson County. This is up 22% from 2020.
  • Tourism generated $8.4 million in total taxes in 2021, which means that if tourism did not exist in Jefferson County, each of the 12,748 households would have to pay an additional $432 per year in additional taxes to maintain current levels of state and local government services.
  • State and local tax revenue collected from tourism in Jefferson County was sufficient to fund 432 public school students and 103 Indiana public school teachers.

Statewide Impact of Tourism:

  • Total Indiana visitor volume grew 16% in 2021 to 77.3 million person-trips.
  • Overnight leisure travel grew by 36% over 2020.
  • Spending per visitor to Indiana rose to $170.

“Investing in this co-op analysis with Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC / Visit Indiana) has allowed not only the tourism sector to learn progress, successes and make benchmarks; but many current and new businesses and economic development in the City and County” said Sarah Prasil, Visit Madison Executive Marketing Director. “We are proud at VMI to house such important information that is absolutely vital to all our community’s growth. I’m humbled for the recognition and know that VMI’s consistency to keep Madison & Jefferson County top of mind is the very reason we are seeing growth today. The effects of marketing often times aren’t immediate, so the foundation and efforts before me are just as important.”

This great news about the economic impact of tourism is on top of the record year just completed for Innkeeper’s Taxes, which saw Jefferson County collect over $639,000 during calendar year 2022, which is 19% higher than 2021 and 31% over the previous high in 2019. Innkeepers tax collections make a large portion of Visit Madison’s operations budget and allows Visit Madison to welcome visitors at the Visitor’s Center at 601 W. 1st Street seven days a week.

VMI Board President, Lucy Dattilo adds, “I became President of VMI in 2020, the most challenging of times in the history of Jefferson County/Madison tourism. As the leader in tourism, VMI works closely with the Jefferson County Board of Tourism, the City of Madison, Mayor Courtney, and countless partners and businesses to not only survive but thrive over the last three years.  The Rockport Analytics analysis findings are a direct reflection of this collaboration, but the real credit goes to those before us. Tourism success relies heavily on strategic, strong marketing efforts and The Madison “product”; historic sites, riverfront development, state sites like Clifty Falls State Park and the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, retail, arts and culture. The list goes on and on. Collectively, with the assistance of county and city government, the Rockport data proves that our community knows what they are doing. The interjection of 51.5 million visitor spending dollars into our community is necessary for our sustainability. I am proud of the VMI staff and board for helping lead the way”.

Visit Madison has already been preparing to welcome even more visitors in 2023. It recently received and is distributing new 2023 Experience Guides, magnetic calendars of events, and tear-off calendar sheets for businesses to share with customers and visitors. Tourism Week 2023 will be coming May 7th to 13th and events and activities celebrating that will be announced in April.

Visit Madison’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the economy of Jefferson County by increasing visitation and providing an outstanding visitor experience.



  • Rockport Analytics Inputs and Data resourced from IDDC, Longwoods International, Government Sources, STR, and other economic models.
  • State numbers provided by IDDC March 2, 2023 Press Release:
    • The study was commissioned by the Indiana Destination Development Corporation and conducted by Rockport Analytics, an independent market research and consulting company specializing in economic impact and feasibility studies for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. The methodology employed by this study is in accordance with industry best practices and aligns economic impact data at the state and local level with rigorous methodological standards that are recognized as the highest in the industry.
    • The study used data on Indiana and Jefferson County visitor spending derived from multiple sources including Longwoods International, Reach Market Planning and the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel & Tourism Office. It was then reconciled with Bureau of Labor Statistics reported employment data, Indiana Department of Revenue reported tax receipts and secondary sources such as Smith Travel Research.


Visit Madison, Inc.
Andrew Forrester, Executive Tourism Director

Sarah Prasil, Executive Marketing Director

601 West First Street | Madison, IN 47250 | 812-265-2956 | Follow Visit Madison on social media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter


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