Travel Matters!

The Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau is so excited to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week with you! Earlier this week, we celebrated by announcing the “Best of Pottawattamie County” winners with the 2021 Omaha Metropolitan Area Tourism Awards. Today we are sharing information on how important travel and tourism are to our local economy.  

Get to Know the CBCVB

Many of you follow our social media pages for ideas of things to do in the city and county, but you may also be one of the many who are not entirely sure what the Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CBCVB) is and what we do.

The CBCVB exists to attract visitors and events to Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County in efforts to increase sales for local businesses and to increase funds for our local government (plus, visitors paying taxes helps keep taxes lower for locals). Our mission statement says it best:

The Council Bluffs Convention & Visitors Bureau (CBCVB) serves as a catalyst to grow Pottawattamie County’s visitor economy through collaborative sales and marketing, destination advocacy, and sustainable placemaking activities in order to enhance the region’s quality of life.

To the surprise and delight of our clients, the CBCVB offers all of its services for free. All funding comes from a percentage of hotel/motel tax revenue from the City of Council Bluffs. In turn, we work hard to bring quality events to town that will benefit our community. In fiscal year 2019, events we brought to town generated a $27.34 million economic impact!

Travel Means Business!

You may be wondering, who qualifies as a traveler? A traveler is someone who is 50 miles or farther away from their home.

Did you know that travelers spent $351.5 million in Pottawattamie County in 2019, despite the massive flooding?!* This includes expenses that are incurred when traveling away from home, such as transportation, lodging, meals, entertainment, and shopping.

Comparing to other counties in the state, Pottawattamie County is the seventh-highest ranking in travel expenditures out of all of Iowa’s 99 counties after Polk, Linn, Scott, Johnson, Black Hawk, and Dubuque.

Travel at the State Level

The work we do in Council Bluffs impacts the travel economy on the state level. According to the US Travel Association, domestic travelers spent a total of $9.26 billion in Iowa during 2019. Which directly generated close to $1.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenue that year!*

Not only does tourism bring money into the state, but it also provided 70,700 jobs in Iowa during 2019.

How You Can Help

A significant aspect of attracting visitors to town and growing our local businesses is sharing what makes Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County great and who knows that better than our locals? When sharing a mouthwatering meal at one of our restaurants or a fun day at one of our attractions on social media, use #UNleashCB for a chance to be featured on our social media pages and website! Today, visitors don’t want to hear from advertisers or promoters about what makes a place awesome; they want to hear from the people who live there and its visitors. Let’s get the word out about Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County and what makes them UNlike anywhere else!


*According to the US Travel Association

This post was originally published on May 6, 2021 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog.