TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Executive Director of Terre Haute’s Convention and Visitors Bureau said tourism plays a big part in the city’s economic health.

“The industry, annually, is a $30 million industry,” said David Patterson.

Nearly 6,000 people came to Terre Haute in one weekend for the NCAA Division One Cross Country National Championships.

“What’s wonderful about this is not just the financial impact, but the people carry away a good message. Even on a rainy day, this is cross country season. The fact that people are coming from all over. You see all the plates from the different states,” said Patterson.

Having so many visitors in town gives local businesses, like Rick’s Smokehouse, an extra boost.

“Anytime there’s large groups of people from outside of this community and they need food for, like the cross country event that’s going on this weekend, we definitely have an opportunity to cater for that,” said owner, Rick Burchell.

They said it also gives the chance to show them what Terre Haute has to offer.

“We’re just happy. We hope everyone enjoys the experience. Takes away a good thought and feeling about Terre Haute and the state of Indiana,” said Patterson.

This is Terre Haute’s 13th year hosting the national championships.