Last week I attended the Ohio Travel Association's Ohio Conference on Travel at the Cherry Valley Hotel in Newark. It was great to see so many industry friends in person again! The meeting itself was a testament to the perseverance of Ohio's tourism industry. As we reflected on the tough times of the pandemic that our industry has managed through, we looked to the future of Ohio and our industry and the hope it brings.
In the summer of 2021, we began to recover. Cleveland hosted the NFL Draft on April 30. Ohio. Find It Here. regional marketing began again in May. We all celebrated Ohio Tourism Day on May 5. And throughout the summer we worked with 130 Ohio. Find It Here. Co-Op Advertising Program partners on targeted marketing to increase visits.
Summer 2021 research showed that leisure travel was recovering. AAA reported that a record 43 million Americans hit the road during Independence Day weekend. And, for most of the summer and even now, Longwoods International's consumer sentiment survey has shown that 88% of people have travel plans in the next six months.
To aid in the recovery, our regional Ohio. Find It Here. paid marketing has continued this fall to help extend the leisure travel season. We are also putting plans in place for a regional Ohio for the Holidays campaign. Just this week, we opened our 2022 co-op registration (register by November 19) with additional opportunities focused on increasing visits.
In 2019, Ohio experienced a record $48 billion in visitor spending and over 226 million visits. In 2020 we persevered through the toughest times of the pandemic. In the summer of 2021, we began to recover and we are working to continue that recovery. In 2022, I look forward to working in partnership with Ohio's tourism industry to come out of the pandemic stronger.