Today, more than 29 million people visit Indy each year, spending an estimated $5.6 billion in our local economy and providing jobs for nearly 83,000 of our residents. The Destination Vision is about sustaining and growing this economic engine, using it embrace and celebrate the diversity of people and places that call Indy home, and guiding it in ways that enhance the quality of life in our region and improving humanity.
You see, we believe travel isn’t just about vacations and conventions. It’s about sharing our lives with friends and family. It’s about discovering new knowledge and meaning. It’s about experiencing things that bring us together to discover what makes us unique and also what makes us human. That’s why we’re in this business, and we believe Indy is home to a unique spirit that we believe can be shared with the world in ways that improves the lives of residents and visitors alike.
Currently under revision, the plan focuses on 15 key strategies, each with a range of specific actions, that address three guiding principles for what Tourism with Purpose means.
Indy’s story is rather exceptional, and tourism is a key way in which we share our story, both to residents and visitors. We share our story because it makes us proud, but we also share it because it makes us authentic and attractive.
Example Actions: Develop a Cultural Tourism Accelerator program that identifies residents across Indy that know the stories, history, oddities, and passions that make our places unique and connects them to platforms that help visitors discover and support their work. Take what we’ve perfected hosting large downtown events and package it into a Neighborhood Event Toolkit to help smaller, hyper-local and authentic events also be successful. And, re-establish Indy as a Music City in ways that use music to celebrate our diversity, promotes human expression, and enhances quality of life of our city.
Whether on a front porch, in neighborhood park, at a major attraction, or around Monument Circle, all of the stories we consume occur in a place, and our ability to strengthen our places and stitch them together maximizes our ability to learn and share our stories.
Example Actions: Hit especially hard by the pandemic, we know that local retail and food are often the driving motivator for residents and visitors alike to visit a place and are also what makes them authentic and special. Connecting our neighborhoods and cultural districts and attractions together through a network of slow connections like trails and greenways enhances the experience of our city, while continuing to focus and recovering and expanding direct flights at Indianapolis International Airport is critical for tourism growth. And in a region not known for its natural resources, we believe the White River has the potential to become one of the largest environmental, economic, and community enhancement efforts to ever shape the Indy region.
The Indy ecosystem of tourism and hospitality is made up of thousands of attractions, venues, hotels, restaurants, and other key partners, with Visit Indy uniquely positioned to keep its eye on how well the system is functioning.
Example Actions: Expanding the ways in which big attractions come together through an attractions council to better coordinate capital improvements, programming, marketing, and research. Better understand the tourism workforce, its needs, and its role in economic mobility for residents and opportunities for career pathways. Development of a regional placemaking fund with stable and dedicating funding to invest in quality-of-life and quality-of-place enhancements across the Indy region.