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Tourism numbers begin to ‘bounce’ back

Tourism numbers begin to ‘bounce’ back Tourism numbers begin to ‘bounce’ back
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Tourism Commission met for its quarterly meeting Thursday to discuss upcoming ventures for the Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as reflect on the past quarter.

Commission president Michael Wiseman noted it was good to see numbers beginning to bounce back after CVB executive director Jeremy Yackle reviewed the innkeepers’ tax report for the members.

“We are down less than 10% from where we were in the second quarter of 2019,” Wiseman said. “I think that is very much a positive and a good sign things are headed back in the right direction for us.”

For 2021 year to date, the innkeepers’ tax collection has totaled $163,996. In 2020, for the entire year, it was $256,552, a number much lower than normal due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that — for the past five years or so — it was about $400,000 in total.

Stacy Pirtle, director of sales and visitors services, said she was excited to see people starting to visit the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center a lot more recently and noted there were 2,276 people who came in during June, something she credited to the spring wine walk that occurred that month.

Yackle noted there is new merchandise in the center that is moving well and that it is good to see the community and visitors coming out more lately to the center.

Amanda York, CVB marketing manager, noted the website has begun to see more traffic as well, up 28% from viewers this time last year.

“I’m feeling hopeful for what is to come and will be pushing for more fall travel trips to hopefully spark more people coming to Harrison County,” York said.