Tourism growing in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita is known for a lot of things but tourism isn’t typically one of them. City officials are hoping to change that.

From charity walks to renaissance festivals, as the weather warms up more events are making their way into Wichita.

“Every weekend there’s an excuse to come so whether it’s our cultural arts our wonderful music theatre of Wichita, Intrust Bank Arena, river festival. When you look at that calendar we put it all on a list, we’re like you know every single weekend in Wichita there’s stuff going on and there’s a reason to visit,” said James Williams with GoWichita.

It’s not just about coming to visit Wichita for fun events either, when you have so many people making their way into the area sometimes for days at a time. Festivals can bring plenty to the table for businesses.

It’s events like Riverfest, the largest and longest running community celebration spanning nine days which easily translates into a huge economic boost for the city.

“As button sales go, we sold about 105,000 buttons last year, so unique attendees and over the course of nine days, 360,000 people participated and that’s an economic impact on the city of somewhere between 25 and 30 million (dollars), so it’s a big deal,” said Marybeth Jarvis, with Wichita Festivals.

“Many people don’t realize that tourism is actually nearly a billion dollar industry just right here in Wichita, so we welcome six million guests to Wichita annually. It’s big business and we’re glad that they’re here,” said Williams.

Of course it’s not just about getting money, it’s about showcasing the city. Officials say no matter how you look at it, number don’t lie.

“We recently did a study that said that 95% said they’d want to come back after visiting Wichita, so we’ve got a great option here and we love it when they come,” said Williams.

If you’d like to keep an eye out for events happening from marathons to festivals and other events, be sure to check the Community Calendar on our website.

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