The Missouri Division of Tourism recently released a research study called Tourism Advertising Halo Effect conducted by Longwoods International. Tourism marketers have long understood the value of tourism advertising on the local economy in terms of economic impact and sales tax generation, job creation and improving quality of life for residents. This study takes a deeper dive into the impact of tourism marketing on economic development objectives such as viewing Missouri more favorably as a place to live, work, start a business, attend college, purchase a vacation home and retire.

In every case, Missouri’s “It’s Your Show” campaign and subsequent visitation significantly improved the image of Missouri as a place to visit and across a wide range of other economic development objectives. For each objective, the most dramatic improvement in image was by those consumers who bother were exposed to the tourism marketing and then visited Missouri.

Specifically, the advertising campaign created a strong image life. Those who saw the Missouri ad campaign were 79% more likely to view Missouri as “a good place to start a business” than those who had not seen the ads. Those who saw the ads and then visited Missouri were 120% more likely to view Missouri as “a good place to start a business.” The same pattern holds true for all six economic development objectives in the study.

Longwoods explains that tourism functions as the front door for economic development and tourism can play a powerful role in helping Missouri achieve its economic development objectives.

The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce work closely to align branding and messaging strategies in an effort to ensure that prospective visitors, residents and business owners see Springfield as a welcoming community with the necessary resources to ensure a positive visit and/or move to the area. This data confirms the need to work even closer with city, county and other Springfield area organizations impacted by tourism economic development issues to ensure that they are utilizing resources and aligning messaging wherever possible.