When Howard Hughes took his last breath it was 1:27 on the morning of April 5, 1976, and he was in an airplane over northern Mexico on his way to a Texas hospital. Decades earlier he'd built the planet's largest seaplane and aviated the circumference of the world in a record-setting 3 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes and 10 aloft might seem a fitting end for such a man, and in many Howard L Hughes. The concept of the multiplier is widely known and its use in the measurement of tourism's economic impact is routine. This article argues that greater caution should be exercised