Capital Clicks

COVID-19’s impact on tourism is less of an issue in Iowa

By: - April 16, 2020 8:30 am
Wind turbines are seen behind a corn field in Rippey, Iowa.

A defamation lawsuit is the latest development in a long-running legal battle involving one of Iowa’s largest farm cooperatives. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

It won’t come as much of a surprise, but in terms of tourism dollars, COVID-19 has had less of an impact on Iowa than almost every other state in the nation.

Cities and states that rely heavily on tourism are being hit hard not only by the shuttering of restaurants, arenas, theme parks and other tourist destinations, but by the shelter-in-place orders that are keeping most Americans inside their homes.

WalletHub recently compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 10 key metrics related to tourism, such as their share of businesses in travel and tourism-related industries, the amount of money spent by each traveler, and the existence of stay-at-home orders. (Iowa is one of five states that does not have a formal, statewide shelter-in-place order in effect, although the governor says the restrictions now in place are roughly equivalent.)

Due to Iowa’s very low ranking in the 50 states’ dependency on tourism dollars — the Hawkeye state places 40th by that measure — Iowa is near the bottom in overall negative tourism impact. Only Arkansas ranks lower.

As one might expect, the state of Hawaii is at the top of the list,  easily outdistancing other top-10 states such as Florida, Nevada and Montana.

For the complete list, and a breakdown of the scoring on individual metrics, check out WalletHub’s complete report.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.