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Zoo Boosts Local Economy By $143 Million

CINCINNATI, OH (July 31, 2013) - A study by the University of Cincinnati Economics Center found the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden - one of the premier recreational and cultural attractions in the tri-state region - has a total annual economic impact of $143 million in the Greater Cincinnati region, with more than 1.4 million visitors and a quarter-million members.  

"Our analysis shows that the Zoo produces substantial benefits for the regional economy," said Jeff Rexhausen, Project Director, at the University of Cincinnati Economics Center. "It appears that much of this economic impact is associated with non-local visitors who come to the Zoo because of its world-class reputation."

Through the Zoo's spending, contracted services, and spending by Zoo visitors from outside the area, the Cincinnati Zoo creates economic benefits for numerous households and businesses throughout the region.

The Zoo is an important source of jobs and earnings for local workers, generating over 1,700 jobs with $51.7 million in wages and benefits.   And, although the Zoo primarily benefits local residents, nearly half of the Zoo's economic impact (45.6%) can be attributed to visitors coming to the region. 

The Cincinnati Zoo has achieved a 36% increase in attendance since 2006, with 2012 attendance hitting an all-time high of 1,440,000 visitors.  Non-local visitors increased 30% to 287,700 and surveys show the Zoo is a top driver of both new and repeat visitors to the region.

According to the Cincinnati USA Regional USA Regional Tourism Network (RTN), the Cincinnati Zoo has been a top three driver of direct-booked visitation since the RTN began ticket and hotel packaging in 2009.

The Zoo is also an invaluable educational asset with over 450,000 people participating in educational programs, including 140,000 pre-school and school-aged children engaged through field trips, camps, overnights, and family programs.

According to the study, the Zoo is a top attraction for visitors from outside the area.  In addition to their spending at the Zoo, these visitors accounted for an estimated $23.2 million in off-site spending on dining, lodging etc., as a result of which their spending has a total impact of $60.4 million on the local economy.

Other Cincinnati Zoo highlights found in the study include:

The Cincinnati Zoo is an award-winning partner in community redevelopment economic growth, working with diverse neighborhood organizations and community leaders.

The Cincinnati Zoo is a conservation and sustainability champion earning the title of "Greenest Zoo in America."




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