A look at visitors in Cape Girardeau during 2013 shows leisure travel as the No. 1 reason people visit the city, though construction, amateur sports and entertainment also brought many to town. Many larger-scale events, along with attractions that fall under the visitors bureau's definition of "destination development," helped draw visitors. In the visitors bureau's 2013 fiscal year, hotel tax collections increased by 10.54 percent, according to the summary. Graduation days, held twice a year by the university, also can be among the busiest for restaurants and hotels because hundreds of students' families are in town for the events. A recent example of a sporting event that drew visitors is the Christmas Tournament, during which the Show Me Center hosted 19,189 people to watch area high school basketball teams compete for this year's title. Visitors bureau director Chuck Martin says amateur sports, including high school state volleyball and golf championships and the Special Olympics Missouri State Outdoor Games added to the numbers. Another short-term event that brings visitors is the SEMO District Fair, which is attended by about 90,000 people during an eight-day period each September. The Great Race came to Cape Girardeau in July, and "Gone Girl" filmed in October. More visitors and more tourism equal economic benefits for the city. Mayor Harry Rediger says the city is a regional hub, and there is a tremendous impact from tourists and visitors coming into Cape daily, weekly and annually.
Return to: Local News Blog