OKC tourism generates $3.8 billion in economic impact
OKLAHOMA CITY – A recent research report conducted by Tourism Economics found that visitors to Oklahoma City generated a total economic impact of $3.8 billion in 2021. By tracing the flow of visitor-related expenditures through the city’s economy and their effects on employment, wages and taxes, the report found that tourism has a dramatic effect on the health of OKC’s local economy.
“We knew tourism was thriving in OKC, but to see the significant numbers and ways the hospitality industry impacts our community is very exciting,” said Zac Craig, Visit Oklahoma City President. “This data also shows a strong recovery despite 2021 having lingering Covid-related challenges for leisure, convention and sports visitation. We expect tourism’s economic impact to continue climbing as Visit OKC elevates our destination marketing across national and international audiences.”
In 2021, 21.4 million visitors directly spent $2.3 billion across a range of sectors – including food and beverage (27%), retail (24%), recreation and entertainment (18%), lodging (16%) and transportation (15%). This total economic impact sustained more than 31,500 jobs and generated $311 million in state and local tax revenues in 2021.
“A wonderful benefit to our thriving visitor economy is the additional ways tourism spending positively impacts other industries such as real estate, insurance and various business services that support tourism-related organizations,” said Roy Williams, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO. “This indirectly represents an additional $1.5 billion for our community which means we all benefit from being a strong tourism and convention destination.”
Oklahoma City’s future as a tourism destination is on the rise.
"Our civic leaders and local residents have invested in entertainment venues and districts through the MAPS program for decades and this investment is paying dividends through tourism,” said Craig. “Our new convention center complex, streetcar infrastructure and world-class attractions and districts have elevated us as a meetings destination, but are also gaining attention for major sporting events and expanded leisure travel.”
For additional highlights from the 2021 OKC Tourism Economic Impact study, click here.
About Visit Oklahoma City
Visit Oklahoma City (Visit OKC) is a division of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. Visit OKC is the tourism information source for visitors to and the citizens of Oklahoma City, as well as the home to OKC Sports. As the City’s official destination marketing organization, the mission of Visit OKC is to contribute to the economic well-being of Oklahoma City and its citizens through the solicitation and servicing of conventions, sporting events and other related group business, to promote the city as a first-class visitor destination, and to enhance Oklahoma City's name and image.