The number of visitors to Ohio increased by 5 million in 2016 to 212 million visits, the seventh consecutive year of tourism growth.
TourismOhio today released 2016 data highlighting tourism’s importance as an economic driver for the Buckeye state.
Direct visitor spending in 2016 was estimated at $34 billion, an increase of $1 billion from 2015. The direct visitor spending generated an estimated $43 billion in sales, up from $42 billion the previous year, according to TourismOhio.
“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.”
Of those 212 million visits last year to Ohio, nearly 42 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. $360 for overnight trips).
“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 brand,” said Mary Cusick, director of TourismOhio.
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.
The state is preparing to launch a new $5 million campaign through September, targeting residents of Ohio and nearby states. This new campaign will run longer, through September, via television, social media, print advertising and public relations.
“We’re seeing continuing pent-up demand for travel experiences because people have a little more discretionary income,” said Cusick.