Date of this Version



© 1999, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Developing tourism can enhance the economy. This NebGuide describes how to use lodging tax statistics to estimate the impact of tourism on a community.

Every community interested in developing tourism to enhance or diversify their economy wants to know how much good tourism can do for them. While tourism is not the answer to every community's economic challenges, it can provide economic benefits in many cases. These economic benefits must then be compared to the social, cultural and environmental changes that tourism might bring in order to judge its acceptability in community economic development efforts.

Politicians, planners and citizens want to know just how important tourism is to their communities. While some economic benefits and costs are very difficult to calculate, total economic impacts can be estimated relatively easily. This NebGuide describes how Nebraska counties can use lodging tax statistics to estimate local tourism impacts each month, quarter, or year. A description of terms is provided first, followed by an explanation of expenditure patterns and lodging taxes. Next, the formulas needed to estimate economic benefits are presented, and finally, secondary benefit principles are introduced.