Several hundred people gathered Thursday afternoon at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts to celebrate Kansas City as a destination for conventions and tourism and to hear challenges for the future.
Visit KC, the area’s marketing agency for travel and big events, said at its annual meeting that for every $1 spent on its media budget last year, it produced a $93 return on investment in visitor spending, a major improvement over its historical average return of $70.
The agency reported that it assisted with 279 conventions in 2016 that produced 325,874 room nights. Those gatherings generated an estimated economic impact of more than $246 million, according to Visit KC data.
Visit KC CEO Ronnie Burt listed three top priorities to keep Kansas City’s momentum going: Expand the successful downtown streetcar line to the Country Club Plaza, build the planned convention hotel next to the Kansas City Convention Center, and build a “modern, single-terminal airport fit for today’s travelers.”
Burt also used the occasion to announce a new business offshoot from Visit KC: Spark, a destination management company that will operate separately from Visit KC beginning March 1 to assist visitors and conventions when they arrive.
Read more: Kansas City Star