In January, Gov. Jay Nixon announced tourism in Missouri was on the rise. The state brought in more than 40 million visitors and nearly $13 million in revenue last year. The increase in tourism has been felt in the riverfront city of Cape Girardeau. Last year, the city saw a 3 percent growth in tourism.
While the increase was slim, Brenda Newbern, executive director of the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said many local businesses are reaping the benefits of the increased tourism traffic.
“Each business is going to be able to continue to grow and increase in things that they do,” Newbern said. “It’s going to help with our taxes. So it’s going to help with our infrastructure, and things changing there.”
And some local business owners agree. Annie Laurie’s Antiques owner, Laurie Everett, said she saw an increase in visitors last year. Everett believes the increased traffic and numerous restoration efforts in downtown Cape Girardeau have contributed to the financial growth in the area.
“I think just a compilation of a lot of different things has helped everyone in business, and more people and more traffic, and all of that attributes to a healthy, vibrant downtown,” Everett said.
In the end, Newbern said Cape Girardeau’s diverse businesses have attracted many visitors to the area, which has kept it from being heavily impacted by economic decline.