Economic Development

Tourists Spent $34 Billion in Ohio in 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tourists spent an estimated $34 billion in Ohio last year, generating an estimated $43 billion in sales, TourismOhio reported Wednesday.

Direct visitor spending was up an estimated $1 billion from 2015 and generated $1 billion more in sales from 2015, according to data released yesterday by the state tourism promotion agency. The data indicates the state’s tourism industry grew for the seventh consecutive year.

“Tourism is a job creator and economic catalyst in Ohio communities,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “Visitors see what makes Ohio unique and all businesses benefit.”

Longwoods International conducted research for the study in partnership with Tourism Economics. TourismOhio is releasing the data in conjunction with Ohio Tourism Day 2017 yesterday.

According to the study, the number of tourism visits to and within Ohio increased from 207 million in 2015 to 212 million visits in 2016. Of those 212 million visits last year, nearly 42 million were overnight trips.

Overnight visitors spend, on average, more than three times the amount spent by daytrip visitors ($111 for daytrips versus $360 for overnight trips), according to research.

“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 Mary Cusick, director of TourismOhio. “We are seeing more people take advantage of Ohio’s distinct experiences and spending more when they visit.”

In addition to an increase in visits and visitor spending, the tourism industry added 7,000 tourism-related jobs last year for a total of 427,000 jobs supported by tourism, up from 420,000 in 2015.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.