About Indy’s Destination Vision

Indianapolis is a successful destination, home to more than 2 million people and welcoming more than 30 million visitors each year. The Destination Vision is a plan for the Indy region to use travel and tourism for the betterment of our city and its people. Today, more than 84,000 residents rely on jobs supported by the visitor economy to support their families, and these visitors spend $5.8 billion in our local economy, including more than $300 million in local and $500 million in state taxes. The economic impact of travel and tourism is incredibly important for our city, and the Destination Vision is the long-term roadmap for how we can sustain and grow these benefits.

Shining a Light on Monument Circle

As important as economic benefit is to our city, we believe travel and tourism can do more. If we can be strategic in our investments, we believe travel and tourism can be used to build a city that is more inclusive of all its residents and all of its neighborhoods and places. We believe travel and tourism can be used to overcome social barriers and promote better understanding of one another.

The Destination Vision is a long-range plan that works at the intersection of what residents and visitors both want. Things that benefit people living in our city while improving the experience of people visiting our city.

The Vision is sponsored by Tourism Tomorrow Indy (TTI), the non-profit arm of Visit Indy, the city’s destination marketing/management organization (DMO). Importantly though, the plan is not solely a plan for TTI or Visit Indy. Quite the contrary, the plan is a co-creation plan that relies on alignment of work of many different partners.

Since the first version was released in 2014 as the Tourism Master Plan, the plan has grown and evolved with changing priorities of the community and city leadership and changing forces of travel. Today, the Destination Vision is a dynamic plan that is updated regularly and is supported by a growing research, engagement, and partnership development program.

Indy’s Destination Strengths and Challenges Today

Indy’s Tourism Drivers Today

Families and Friends

Family & Friends

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is the primary reason for leisure travel in almost all destinations, including Indianapolis. People are connecting with their families and visiting friends for celebrations, reunions, holiday-activities, and personal reasons. While visiting, they may partake in attractions, festivals, museums, performances, dining, recreation, sports, and sightseeing options.

Indy’s Arts, Attractions, and Cultural Offerings

Arts & Attractions

Indy’s distinctive portfolio of arts, heritage, cultural, and dining offerings is outstanding. The world’s largest Children’s Museum, the extraordinary art-campus found at Newfields, the world-renowned Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, amazing events such as the International Violin Competition, American Pianists Association Awards, and Heartland Film Festival, legendary residents and the stories of Madam CJ Walker, Kurt Vonnegut, and Benjamin Harrison, craft beer, wine, and spirits, intriguing neighborhoods, and a culinary scene recognized as one of the hottest in the USA, make any visit to Indy memorable.

Conventions and Meetings

Conventions & Meetings

Indianapolis is a strong convention and meetings destination considered by many as “boxing above its weight class.” In the convention market, we continue to compete directly with major cities such as Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, Atlanta, among others, for large conventions, trade shows, and events. The recently announced expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and two major hotels on Pan Am Plaza position Indy for continued growth in this highly competitive arena. The new hotels will expand the number of rooms connected to the Convention Center to 6,100, an advantage that no other city can claim.

Festivals and Special Events

Festivals & Special Events

Non-sporting events also significantly impact our community from the crowds who attend the Indiana State Fair, to those enjoying Indiana Black Expo, and the talented youth who participate in Music for All and Drum Corps International competitions. Across the nation festivals draw millions of attendees.

Sports

Sports

Sporting events are a major contributor to our city’s success in attracting visitors. The annual running of the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400, and Indy Grand Prix bring millions of dollars in visitor spending each year. Big Ten championships, multiple NCAA events, and the various activities at Grand Park in Hamilton County bring thousands of visitors to our region. The NBA All-Star Weekend (2021) and College Football Playoff National Championship Game (2022) are recent additions to Indy’s impressive sports calendar. Professional sports teams (Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, Indy Eleven, Indianapolis Indians, and Indy Fuel) provide visitors year-round excitement at premier venues.

Outdoor Recreational Experiences

Outdoor Experiences

Natural beauty is on display every season in the Indy region. In Indianapolis, White River State Park, Eagle Creek Park, and Ft. Harrison State Park are recreational favorites. Brown County State Park is a magnet for visitors, especially in the fall. The Cultural Trail, Monon Trail, and miles of other trails connect the region and provide superior biking, hiking, and jogging opportunities. Exciting plans are underway for the redevelopment of the White River, spanning two counties and offering new waterway and shoreline experiences.

Businesses and Universities

Business & Schools

Indy area universities, colleges, and businesses contribute significantly to visitor demand.  Life sciences, pharma, tech, logistics, agriculture, and many other industries create business visitors coming to Indy for training, meetings, and conventions. Local universities attract new students every year, as well as their friends and family who come to visit.

Next Up: Our Vision of Tourism with Purpose