Ohio tourism reaches new heights in 2017

Data shows tourism visits, revenue, jobs on rise

By Melody Vallieu - mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com

MIAMI COUNTY — TourismOhio recently 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.

In Miami County, this holds true as well, as the tourism industry broke a record in 2017, surpassing its budgeted goal by tens of thousands of dollars, according to Diana Thompson, executive director of the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau. Thompson said while the board had budgeted $415,000 for the year, the lodging tax revenue actually came in at $450,000, making for a record-breaking year.

The lodging tax funds the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau each year, and in return the money is reinvested into bringing tourism into the county through social media, advertising, mailings, a visitors’ guide and more, Thompson said. The money also pays for office expenses, staffing and benefits and other necessary expenses, she said.

In Ohio, 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.

While the 2017 figures are not yet available in Miami County, in 2016, tourism in the county brought in approximately $251.2 million, according to The Economic Impact of Tourism in Miami County report.

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 day trip visitors —$111 for day trips vs. $365 for overnight trips.

“In Miami County, the hotels were very busy,” Thompson said of business in 2017.

Thompson credits the many events held yearly in the county with bringing in tourism dollars, such as the Troy Strawberry Festival and other festivals, along with various sporting events.

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 Economic Impact of Tourism in Miami County report documents $65.4 in wages and $32.3 million in taxes, all connected to tourism in Miami County in 2016. The report also states that 3,334 people were employed in tourism-related jobs within the county in 2016.

“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, 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.

For more on tourism in Miami County, visit homegrowngreat.com.

Data shows tourism visits, revenue, jobs on rise

By Melody Vallieu


Reach Melody Vallieu at mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 552-2131

Reach Melody Vallieu at mvallieu@aimmediamidwest.com or (937) 552-2131