Ohio tourism industry sets record in 2018

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s tourism industry generated another year of economic growth in 2018, creating a $46 billion tourism industry.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine spoke enthusiastically about the importance of Ohio’s tourism industry during his remarks at Ohio Tourism Day. The Ohio Tourism Day event was held at the Ohio Statehouse to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week.

“There is so much to see and do in Ohio,” DeWine said. “We have great places to visit, art, culture, outdoor adventures, museums and so much more. Tourism is not only fun, but it’s also such an important part of our economy. Tourism provides jobs and improves our quality of life.”

In 2018, direct visitor spending generated an estimated $46 billion in sales (including direct and indirect spending), up from $44 billion the previous year. Direct visitor spending in 2018 was estimated at $36 billion, an increase of $1 billion from 2017.

The tourism industry also added 1,000 tourism-related jobs last year for a total of 429,000 jobs supported by tourism.

The number of tourism visits to and within Ohio increased from 219 million in 2017 to 222 million visits in 2018 – a record. Of those 222 million visits last year, 44 million were overnight trips. Research shows that overnight visitors spend, on average, more than three times the amount spent by day trip visitors ($116 for day trips vs. $369 for overnight trips).

Tourism Economics conducted research for the study on behalf of TourismOhio, which uses the data to track industry performance and monitor visitor trends. TourismOhio is released the data in conjunction with Ohio Tourism Day 2019, a free public event that celebrated the tourism industry and showcased more than 100 tourism experiences at the Ohio Statehouse on May 8.