10 May & June 2017 Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau Bureau Business Tourism is the purest form of economic development-Roger Brooks, Tourism expert/consultant. Roger Brooks and wife were hired to visit Emporia as tourists for a week in 2014. He created a report and presented it to us. Below is some of the information Roger shared with us. The number one reason for travel is to visit friends and family. The larger the population, the more tourism you’ll have. Susan Rathke CVB Director The second reason for travel is business. The more businesses you have the more tourism you’ll have based on their visitors. With the success of those 2 drivers, our activities and attractions will bring in leisure visitors, making us a well-rounded destination as a place to live, work, and play. If we attract the right visitors, we don’t need more police or social services. Visitors have very little impact on our infrastructure, but they support our retail shops, restaurants, hotels and get to know us as a community. If they like what they see and experience, they tell their friends through social media. That’s free marketing and a third-party endorsement. Anyone checking out our community as a potential business site arrives as a visitor. Tourism provides the marketing and visuals that promote the best we have to offer in terms of nightlife, downtown, our amenities like trails and parks, and our activities. The number one activity of visitors is shopping, dining, and entertainment, preferably in a pedestrian-friendly setting, like downtown. This isn’t the main reason they visit, but it’s the number one activity once they arrive. Traveler spending continues to grow and so does the number of visitors to Kansas. The number of visitors to Emporia continues to increase due to more and larger events and more things to see and do. More shopping, more dining options and more entertainment. Lodging choices are increasing too. Emporia has a new Hampton Inn by Hilton, a new bed and breakfast, the Gufler Mansion, and airbnb’s are on the rise. The Emporia CVB continues to pursue some of the suggestions made by Mr. Brooks such as: upgrading directional signage, blade signs, and beautification efforts. We also look for new marketing avenues to make Emporia a bigger and more exciting tourism destination.