TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A new study shows the impact the gem show has on Tucson's economy, as the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Showcase kicks off today at the Tucson Convention Center.
Gems, minerals and fossils are big business in Tucson during the gem show, where items can run from the hundreds of thousands to sometimes less than $50.
Officials with Visit Tucson recently conducted a study on the economic impact of the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil showcase. Direct spending for the 2014 show was at $120 million. That is a 20 percent increase from an earlier study in 2007.
Daily spending in 2014 was $394, while it was only $259 in 2007, a jump of 52 percent. Of buyers that spent over $1,000 in 2014, 70 percent were international, 47 percent were from the U.S. but not local, while 14 percent were local.
The average trip expenditure was over $2,700 in 2014, while in 2007 it was only $1,800.
Visit Tucson officials say the biggest take away from this is that the more people the city can attract to the shows from outside Arizona, the higher the direct spending and overall impact will be on Tucson.
Those out of town buyers were from more than 40 states and nearly 20 different countries.