Greater Des Moines received $1.9 billion in economic impact in 2012, a 5.5% increase over 2011. Respectively, Polk County generated more than $1.7 billion in total travel expenditures and Dallas County generated $173 million.
Polk County was the leader of all Iowa counties in domestic travel expenditures in 2012. Combined, Polk and Dallas Counties contributed more than one quarter of the $7.6 billion in statewide travel-generated economic impact in 2012, according to the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s County Impact Study released September 2013.
“The economic impact in Greater Des Moines continues to increase due to new tourism dollars,” said Greg Edwards, President and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Des Moines Area Sports Commission. “Between meetings, conventions, tradeshows, motorcoach groups, sporting events and leisure travelers, Greater Des Moines is becoming a stronger visitor destination.”
The travel expenditures generated by Polk County in 2012 produced 15,600 jobs for county residents. Dallas County’s travel expenditures produced 1,700 jobs for county residents.
Notable conventions and sporting events hosted in Greater Des Moines in 2012 include the Iowa Caucuses, NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional Championships, NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, World Pork Expo, American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show and Contest, Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s Annual Convention and hundreds of others.