Ohio tourism shows growth

COLUMBUS — TourismOhio has released 2017 data documenting the eighth consecutive year of sustained growth within the state’s tourism industry and highlighting its importance as an economic driver for the state.

Direct visitor spending in 2017 was estimated at $35 billion, an increase of one billion dollars from 2016. The direct visitor spending generated an estimated $44 billion in sales, up from $43 billion the previous year.

In addition to an increase in visitor spending, the tourism industry added 1,000 tourism-related jobs last year for a total of 428,000 jobs supported by tourism, up from 427,000 in 2016.

“Today is Ohio Tourism Day by proclamation of Gov. Kasich, and I am proud to say that tourism continues to create jobs and help drive the economies of Ohio communities,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency, Wednesday, May 9. “The Ohio. Find It Here. brand continues to be successful in sharing our state’s unique travel opportunities.”

The number of tourism visits to and within Ohio increased from 212 million in 2016 to 219 million visits in 2017, a new record. Of those 219 million visits last year, 43 million were overnight trips. Research shows that overnight visitors spend, on average, more than three times the amount spent by daytrip visitors ($111 for daytrips vs. $365 for overnight trips).

“Our Ohio. Find It Here. brand encourages visitors to make emotional connections with family and friends while exploring the state, and this campaign is truly resonating with travelers,” said Matt MacLaren, director of TourismOhio. “We are seeing more people take advantage of Ohio’s distinct experiences and spending more when they visit. TourismOhio will continue to work with our industry partners to complement their marketing efforts and amplify the Ohio. Find It Here. brand.”

Tourism Economics conducted research for the study on behalf of TourismOhio which uses the data to track industry performance and monitor visitor trends. TourismOhio released the data in conjunction with Ohio Tourism Day 2018, a public event that celebrated the tourism industry and showcased more than 90 tourism experiences at the Ohio Statehouse.

TourismOhio, operating within the state of Ohio’s Development Services Agency, works to position Ohio as a destination of choice to enrich lives through authentic travel experiences. The branding Ohio. Find It Here. supports Ohio’s $44 billion tourism industry. For more, visit Ohio.org.