More visitors, and their dollars, are coming into Greater Des Moines.

In 2007, Greater Des Moines hosted over 2.7 million visitors who spent $1.6 billion between Polk and Dallas counties, according to the Economic Impact of Travel Study released by the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s Iowa Tourism Office.  This makes up one quarter of Iowa’s $6.3 billion in travel expenditures.

“This is great news for our state and for Greater Des Moines,” said Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau (GDMCVB) President/CEO Greg Edwards.  “This shows that our commitment to promoting the community through various marketing efforts and conventions, events and sports incentives is working.”  

Polk and Dallas counties have a combined growth rate of 7.3 percent in travel expenditures from 2006.  Polk county travel expenditures were at nearly $1.5 billion in 2007, while Dallas county brought in $128 million.

Greater Des Moines travel expenditures were driven, in part, by conventions and sports events secured by the GDMCVB and the Des Moines Area Sports Commission (DMASC), including the NCAA Division I Track & Field Regional Competition, North American Fast Pitch Association World Series, American Wind Energy Association Windpower Conference, Women of Faith and Pheasants Forever, to name a few.

The Iowa Caucuses, which brought in an estimated 2,500 media, also helped raise expenditures from October through December in Greater Des Moines.