Meet Ottumwa: Tourism Brought in $55 Million Last Year


The far-reaching economic impact of visitors to Ottumwa and Wapello County in 2022 totaled $55.7 million in spending and supported more than 600 local jobs, according to data recently released by the Iowa Tourism Office.

In 2022, visitors spent nearly $56 million across the Wapello County economy, a substantial increase from $52 million in 2021. This direct visitor spending generated a total economic impact of more than $85 million in the county, sustained 617 tourism-related jobs, and generated more than $9 million in state and local tax revenues last year.

Visitor activity in Wapello County directly sustained 431 travel and tourism jobs in 2022, with an additional 186 jobs supported by the indirect and induced impacts of visitor activity. This is .9% of the state total. Direct labor income for the county was $10.4 million of $18.5 million total.

“Local travel and tourism profoundly impact everyone in Wapello County. Travelers eat in our restaurants, shop in our stores, stay in our hotels, and visit our attractions, which means local business owners are seeing the direct results of tourism in our communities,” said Laura Carrell, Executive Director of Meet Ottumwa, Wapello County’s convention and visitors bureau. “Seeing these spending and labor numbers really puts it in perspective, and it encourages us to do everything possible to share what our county has to offer and bring in even more visitors.”

To quantify the economic significance of the tourism sector in Iowa, the Iowa Tourism Office worked with Tourism Economics to prepare a comprehensive model detailing the impacts of visitor spending on the county level. The results of this study show the scope of the travel sector in terms of direct visitor spending, as well as the total economic impacts, jobs, and fiscal (tax) impacts in the broader economy.

On the state level in 2022, visitors spent more than $6.9 billion across the Iowa economy. This direct visitor spending impact generated a total economic impact of $10.4 billion in Iowa, sustained 68,600 jobs, and generated $1.1 billion in state and local tax revenues last year.

Visitor activity in Iowa sustained 48,123 direct jobs in 2022, with an additional 20,484 jobs supported by the indirect and induced impacts of visitor activity. The total jobs impact increased to 68,607 last year, one of every 20 jobs in the state.

For more information about travel and tourism in Ottumwa and Wapello County, visit

Tourism Impact: Wapello County, Iowa 2022


Direct Employment: 431

Total Employment: 617

Share of State: .9%

Labor Income

Direct Labor Income: $10.24 million

Total Labor Income: $18.53 million

State Taxes

Direct State Taxes: $5.11 million

Total State Taxes: $7.10 million

Local Taxes

Direct Local Taxes: $4.14 million

Total Local Taxes: $6.53 million


Direct Spending: $55.74 million

Total Spending: $85.87 million

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