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Eclipse Tourism to Bring in $1 Billion, “Equivalent to Having 50 Super Bowls”

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Exceeding even major concerts and sporting events, the approaching solar eclipse on April 8 is expected to become the largest tourism event of the year in the United States. Experts estimate that up to 4 million people will travel across the nation to see the celestial show, which is projected to bring in over $1 billion in income.

According to Michael Zeiler of the Great American Eclipse website, the amount of travel is equivalent to “having 50 Super Bowls simultaneously from Texas to Maine.” Cities like Rochester, New York, and Austin, Texas, are preparing for a surge of tourists who want to see the eclipse, which will be completely visible in sections of the Midwest, New England, and the southern US.

Since tens of thousands of people are expected to congregate in these locations, hotels and campers in the eclipse’s path have been fully reserved for months. According to University of Arkansas economist Michael Pakko, the state by itself might make over $100 million from the event.

In addition to its financial appeal, eclipse tourism appeals to a long-standing tradition of eclipse-chasers who seek out these uncommon occurrences for the humbling social experience they offer. Experts credit the spike in interest to both the exceptional chance eclipses present to see a rare celestial occurrence and the recovery in travel enthusiasm that followed the pandemic.

Eclipses have a uniting impact, as noted by James Madison University psychology professor Jaime Kurtz, who describes them as “extremely motivating” and capable of generating group enthusiasm.

Because eclipses are so rare and special, people who chase them frequently comment on how otherworldly the experience is. Astrophysicist and eclipse hunter Fred Espenak highlights how surreal it is to see an eclipse for yourself, comparing it to being on the surface of an extraterrestrial planet.

With a longer path of totality than the 2017 event and no predicted total solar eclipse until the 2040s, this year’s eclipse is especially significant for the US. Professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas at Austin Amit Kumar emphasizes the importance of events like eclipses, which help viewers feel connected to one another.

Towns and businesses along the eclipse’s path are preparing for the upcoming celestial event by laying out the red carpet, hosting theme park attractions, music festivals, and viewing parties to welcome guests from near and far. The eclipse has the potential to be extremely profitable and have a profound effect on local economies as well as the collective awareness of millions of viewers throughout the country.

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