Tourists Spent $35 Billion in Ohio in 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tourists spent an estimated $35 billion in Ohio last year, generating an estimated $44 billion in sales, TourismOhio reported Wednesday.

Direct visitor spending was up an estimated $1 billion from 2016 and generated $1 billion more in sales from 2016, according to data released yesterday by the state tourism promotion agency. The data indicates the state’s tourism industry grew for the eighth consecutive year.

“Tourism continues to create jobs and help drive the economies of Ohio communities,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

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 releasing the data in conjunction with Ohio Tourism Day 2018 yesterday.

“Our Ohio. Find It Here. brand encourages visitors to make emotional connections with family and friends while exploring the state,” 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.”

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.

The number of tourism visits to and within Ohio increased from 212 million in 2016 to 219 million visits in 2017. Of those 219 million visits last year, 43 million were overnight trips, which spend on average more than three times the amount spent by day trip visitors ($111 for day trips versus $365 for overnight trips), according to reasearch.

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