What World Ag Expo returning means for economic impact

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The World Ag Expo generates millions of dollars for the Golden State and Tulare County.

Marketing Manager, Jennifer Fawkes, says this year is off to a great start with over 96 percent of the booths sold and ticket sales surpassing 2020 numbers.

She says a study was conducted showcasing the financial results of the expo two years ago.

"Just based on people coming into the area for the show, not sales at the show or across the country, but just what came in was $52.3 million for CA," she said. "In Tulare County alone, $30 million of that stayed here."

It was a much different story in 2021 when the expo went virtual because of the pandemic.

"We missed that economic impact," says Tulare Chamber of Commerce Donnette Silva Carter. "When you miss the show, you miss what it brings into the community."

Businesses already hurting due to shutdowns felt the losses even more.

"On top of that, not to have the world ag expo that they normally county on for a significant amount of revenue was pretty disastrous for everyone," Carter said.

This year, hotels are full and restaurants and other businesses are keeping busy, which is a great sign for the community.

"Everyone needs a place to stay," Fawkes said. "They need gas in their car and a meal. So we are excited to bring these opportunities to our area."

But for those who are not comfortable attending in person, a virtual program is still being offered.
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