WICHITA, Kan., Oct. 28- On Monday, Oct. 28, Go Wichita released findings from a study commissioned to assess Wichita's convention market. The assessment clearly showed potential for convention growth assuming the city had industry standard convention facilities. Addressing the convention facility needs could generate an additional $30 million in economic output annually.
"Conventions generate outside dollars for our community. Their attendees stay in our hotels, shop in our retail establishments, dine in our restaurants, visit our attractions and fill up their car at our local convenience stores. They leave their dollars in Wichita," said Susie Santo, President and CEO of Go Wichita. "Developing our convention product means bringing more dollars to our community."
"The current convention facilities in Wichita put the community at a competitive disadvantage," shared Conventions, Sports & Leisure International's Bill Krueger. "They fall well below industry standards. Our research indicates that there is potential to grow the number of hosted conventions and associated economic impact in Wichita, assuming the development of appropriately-sized, industry standard convention facility product. Our data also indicates that if Wichita does not address its convention facility needs, the community's convention business would be expected to decline moving forward, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars of economic impact generated by convention visitors."
The unveiling of Go Wichita's market assessment study was the first of three phases. Phase I was the convention market assessment, addressing only conventions. Phase II, planning and utilization, addresses both conventions and Wichita's performing arts. Performing arts, the primary resident of Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center, are vital to the community and the overall planning process. Phase II will also include an opportunity for community input. Phase III will then address the cost/benefit analysis.
Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau
About Visit Wichita
Visit Wichita markets the greater Wichita area as a major convention and tourism destination, thereby enhancing the economic development of the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by President and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2013 travel and tourism contributed more than $1 billion in economic impact to the Wichita MSA.