Nebraska Tourism is tracking the number of visitors who came to the state to view Monday’s solar eclipse.
The agency partnered with industry experts to more accurately measure the economic impact.
John Ricks, Nebraska Tourism executive director, says surveyors were out over the entire weekend, gathering information in key areas from Scottsbluff to Falls City.
“We asked them about spending, their lodging or their campground, then food and beverage, transportation, recreation and entertainment, other shopping – so it’ll give us an idea of how much total spend,” Ricks tells Nebraska Radio Network.
He believes there will be enough survey results to get a good estimate of visitors and spending.
Nebraska Tourism reports its website traffic was up 30% compared to a year ago.
Another metric that increased was media mentions of Nebraska and the eclipse.
“It went from 700 to 7,000 articles (in the month before the eclipse) and the ad value jumped to over $133 million,” Ricks says. “It just snowballed and the media took it over, and the exposure that we got was absolutely phenomenal.”
The economic impact estimate is expected in mid-October at the annual Nebraska Tourism conference.