By Dan McDowell
MnDOT Aeronautics 

Your Airport: A Local invitation to the World


December 1, 2017

C.M. Swanson

Aircraft in a community setting add an element of interest to events open to the general public, by enhancing tourism.

Tourism is a valuable source of revenue for many "mom & pop" shops in many communities throughout the state and nation. From a more local viewpoint, tourism can be a significant source of tax revenues for the cities and counties, as well as the state.

An example of tourisms important financial contributions are discussed in an article by Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, written for the publication, Route Fifty. In that article he says, "States that invest in promoting themselves to potential business and leisure travelers do, in fact, attract more visitors. Those visitors spend money on food, lodging, transportation and shopping during their trips, which fuels business growth-particularly small businesses-and, importantly for the budget-conscious, provides crucial tax revenue."

In a 2017 report published by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), (follow the link below for a copy of this report)*, it states that tourism, "continued to show its resilience in 2016, contributing direct Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 3.1% and supporting 6 million net additional jobs in the sector. In total, Travel & Tourism generated USD- $7.6 trillion (10.2% of global GDP) and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to 1 in 10 jobs in the global economy. For the sixth successive year, growth in Travel & Tourism outpaced that of the global economy (2.5%)."

Ok so travel and tourism brings in lots of dollars. Where do the dollars brought in by tourism actually go? The WTTC report has an excellent graphic describing how the money travels, including the direct, indirect and induced effect of tourism spending. It shows that:


Airlines, coaches, rental cars, trains, cruise lines, travel agents, hotels, convention centers, restaurants, shopping centers, sports arenas, entertainment, theatre, recreation, etc.


outside goods and services such as marketing and PR, cleaning and maintenance, energy providers, catering and food production, design and print, etc.


that pay salaries, wages, profits, and taxes


infrastructure, agriculture, technology, real estate, communications, education, banks, healthcare and more.

Source: World Travel and Tourism Council: Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2017 - March 2017. All rights reserved

You can see now how important tourism can be to your community and your county, as well as your state and the nation! Now think about how very valuable and important your airport is in that equation. While your airport may be smaller than Minneapolis-St. Paul International, it is never insignificant. That is because it is quite simply, a continuous, open invitation to the country and the world to come visit your community to experience and enjoy all it has to offer. When tourists come to your airport, no matter where they come from, they bring dollars.

Tourist who fly into your airport will very likely buy fuel and other airport products and services including vehicle rental. They will stay at local hotels and eat in local restaurants. They will shop in the 'mom and pop' stores and unique shops throughout your city and surrounding area. They will take tours of national parks and visit local heritage sites.

Bear in mind that your airport plays a very important role in successfully attracting tourists to your city. The benefits derived from their visit will ultimately benefit every citizen of your city. So when you think about tourism and its impact on your city, think also about the value of your airport and how it is and remains a local invitation to the world.


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