Tourism Ohio welcomed 219 million tourists in 2017

 Thursday, May 10, 2018 


Tourism OhioOhio tourism sets a new record in travel industry sector by welcoming 219 million tourists in 2017.



In the year 2016, Ohio welcomed 212 mln tourists.



In latest report by the industry leaders of Ohio announced that the record numbers of visits and visitor spending last year.



Meanwhile, passers-by flocked to booths set up by tourist attractions from around the state.



The direct spending by the tourists rose from $1 billion to $35 billion. The tourism employment grew slightly along with the industry: 428,000 jobs are now supported by tourism, an increase of 1,000 over 2016.




Matt MacLaren, TourismOhio director at Ohio Tourism Day said the increase of tourists comes from a combination of factors.  The major draws such as Cedar Point and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium continue adding attractions. At the same time, there is heightened interest among travelers to seek out small attractions.



Also, he said, cities including Columbus are bringing in more meeting and event business, which added to the record numbers.



MacLaren said the biggest area of opportunity for Ohio is increasing the number of overnight visitors — who spend more than day-trippers — to the state by extending tourism advertising into neighboring states.



In 2017, there are about 43 million visits involved in overnight stays. On average, overnight visitors spend more than three times as much as day-trip visitors: $365 compared with $111.



On Wednesday, though, the big attractions at the tourism day event were small attractions. Samples, brochures and raffle items were provided by such places as Camelot Cellars Winery of Columbus and Bryan’s Spangler Candy Co., maker of Dum Dums.



The visitors bureaus of towns including Hilliard, Grove City and Chillicothe all were promoting their places to visit, while several campgrounds, parks and zipline operators touted the outdoor activities around the state.



In central Ohio, Experience Columbus, convention and visitors bureau of the city announced that the “bed taxes” on hotel stays hit a record of more than $46 million for 2017.



The tourism in central Ohio supports about 75,000 jobs and generates $9.7 in annual economic impact.



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