Elkhart County Building On Strong Tourism Performance, Big Plans During National Travel And Tourism Week
ELKHART — With beloved local festivals and events and an attractive roster of new tourism assets, Elkhart County is well positioned for growth as National Travel and Tourism Week begins this week through May 13.
To celebrate, the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau is inviting the public to the Elkhart County Visitors Center, 3421 Cassopolis St., Wednesday, May 10, to plan their summer fun both locally and throughout the state of Indiana. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10, anyone coming to the visitor center can:
- Sign up for the chance to win enticing prizes from Elkhart County tourism businesses such as Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Main Street Roasters, South Side Soda Shop, Dutch Country Market, Wakarusa Dime Store and Olympia Candy Kitchen.
- Pick up a free Elkhart County Area Guide as well as information on tourism destinations and attractions in Indiana and the Midwest, perfect for planning staycations and fun things to do with visiting family and friends.
- From 10 a.m. to noon May 10, meet writer Jamie Ward, who will be signing her new book “100 Things to Do in Indiana Before You Die.”
“The summer is an exciting time of year, with families planning vacations and visitors filling Elkhart County hotel rooms for memorable experiences along the Heritage Trail,” said Jon Hunsberger, executive director of the Elkhart County CVB. “It will be fun to welcome returning visitors who love Elkhart County’s artisans and distinctive experiences while also saying hello to new visitors who can’t wait to try our diverse array of restaurants, enjoy an exciting day on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail and other parks, and take home hand-crafted treasures for their home.”
Tourism and hospitality businesses contributed $715 million to Elkhart County’s economy in 2021, with visitors directly spending nearly $500 million at local businesses, supporting small business entrepreneurs, providing jobs for thousands of Elkhart County residents, and enhancing Elkhart County’s reputation as a Well Crafted place to live.
The 2023 season will be an exciting one with the 16th year of the Quilt Gardens, a free award-winning event that draws visitors from across the Midwest every year. The Quilt Gardens and Heritage Trail audio driving tour are the foundation for an impressive roster of events and activities, such as the Elkhart Jazz Festival, Nappanee Apple Festival, Goshen First Fridays, live music, local theater productions, outdoor activities such as the Pumpkinvine Ride, and unique shopping for all manner of artisan offerings from pottery and paintings to sculpture and jewelry.
Just as impressive are the new events joining a busy calendar, from the Elkhart County Quilt and Fiber Expo to the Salute to Veterans Airshow, and returning events such as the River Bend Film Festival.
The travel industry reaches into every other sector of the economy as the effects of visitor spending multiplied across other economic sectors. The U.S. travel industry generated a $2.6 trillion economic output in 2022 and supported 15 million jobs, fueling communities, small businesses and working families across the country, according to the U.S. Travel Association.