CARMEL, Ind. (Jan. 27, 2016) -- The introduction of the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield in 2014, and a continued strong weekday business market pushed the local overall economic impact of tourism up 4.8 percent between 2013-2014, Hamilton County Tourism officials said today.

The annual study from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development showed direct visitor spending grew to almost $389 million, and the number of tourism-related jobs grew 2.4 percent to 10,253 in 2014. With indirect spending, the economic impact was $581 million. The local tourism economy contributes more than $90 million to state and local taxes.

“This particular study was important because it showed how new visitors to Grand Park contribute greatly to our tourism spending number,” said Brenda Myers, Hamilton County Tourism president and chief executive officer.

 Growth between 2012 and 2013 was primarily flat, she said, due to the influence of the NFL Super Bowl in 2012.

“This level of growth in a single year is considerable and can be attributed to both weekday and weekend visitor numbers,” Myers said.

Weekday lodging occupancy grew 5.8 percent and weekend occupancy grew 4 percent for the same period. Overall room demand grew 6.3 percent compared to national room demand growth of 4.5 percent, according to STR, a firm that measures hotel industry data.

 In 2015, Grand Park’s second year of operation, weekday occupancy grew remain steady while weekend occupancy grew an additional 3.2 percent. Economic impact data lags one year behind lodging impact information.

 A countywide shortage of hotel room supply on some weekdays and on most Grand Park tournament weekends compressed a significant amount of tourism economic impact throughout the region, according to tourism officials. Still, the Rockport study shows Hamilton County retained 91 cents of every tourism dollar spent.

Complete results of the study are available at http://www.visithamiltoncounty.com/business/tourism-toolbox/