With summer approaching, Fort Wayne residents will see increased foot traffic from people enjoying the sights and sounds of Fort Wayne.

Tourism season is near and that’s great news for Fort Wayne.  

For many communities, including Fort Wayne, tourism serves as a critical economic driver that enhances the quality of place for residents, businesses, and local establishments.

According to Visit Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, our community welcomes more than 7 million visitors and $803 million in visitor expenditures annually. Fort Wayne’s tourism industry sustains 11,210 jobs and provides $322 million in wages to local workers. Millions of dollars are generated in taxes through tourism spending, as Allen County generates $90.7 million in state and local taxes. These tax dollars are pumped directly back into our community to support infrastructure improvements, public safety, and major public projects.

Tourism matters in all communities. It especially matters in Fort Wayne.

For families and couples looking for a getaway, Fort Wayne has earned the reputation as an affordable and fun destination because of its high-quality and wide range of activities. Residents have known this secret for a long time. Some say our community takes it for granted.

However, the secret is out, and more visitors have taken notice of Fort Wayne.

From the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and Science Central to summer festivals and our trails system, and now Promenade Park and Electric Works, Fort Wayne continues to maintain, sustain, and invest in its tourism offerings. As more people experience these attractions and activities, more economic development opportunities and more credibility come to Fort Wayne.

While tourism has supported Fort Wayne financially, it has also raised our community’s profile both near home and nationally.

Most recently, media outlets such as Forbes, Midwest Living, CNBC, USA Today, The Daily Beast, and Sports Business Journal have given Fort Wayne high marks as a visitor, convention, and sports tournament destination. These publications are viewed by millions of readers. This visibility improves Fort Wayne’s national profile.   

Although tourism remains strong in Fort Wayne, the future is even brighter.

To accommodate Fort Wayne’s successes in the tourism industry, Visit Fort Wayne is currently building a 10-year vision and roadmap plan that seeks to inspire growth in tourism offerings and advance our city’s quality of life assets. Residents can learn more about the tourism master plan by visiting VisitFortWayne.com/TourismMasterPlan.

When Fort Wayne residents are out enjoying everything our city has to offer this summer, our city should take pride in knowing that visitors are proud to be here, too.