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front view of the west plaza at the ohio statehouse in columbus ohio

TourismOhio Releases 2021 Economic Impact from Tourism

Ohio travel has its second-best year ever with $47 billion in visitor spending.

West Plaza at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (May 11, 2022) — 2021 proved to be a major year for the tourism industry in Ohio thanks to visitors from inside and outside the state. TourismOhio just released the economic impact metrics today. In 2021, the tourism industry captured $46.9 billion in visitor spending and welcomed 219 million visitors into and within the state. The industry also supported 411,000 Ohio jobs (full time, part time and seasonal). These are major increases over 2020 and near 2019's record tourism numbers when Ohio generated $48 billion in sales and 226 million visits, while supporting 429,000 Ohio jobs.

TourismOhio also reported the return on investment from marketing efforts in 2021. Every $1 invested in the 2021 Ohio. Find It Here. marketing campaign generated $83 in direct visitor spending and $6 in taxes inside the state.

"To see so many visitors coming to Ohio speaks volumes to the dedication and reputation of our tourism partners across the state," said Gov. Mike DeWine. "People from all over recognize that Ohio has so much to offer when it comes to destinations and experiences including outstanding state parks and one-of-a-kind attractions! We are confident that even more travelers will find the fun and enjoyment they're looking for in Ohio this year."

Download a hi-res economic impact infographic of the 2021 Tourism Economic Impact here.

Travel and Big Moments in 2022

Ohio is in a prime position to have an incredible travel season this year. A recent travel survey by Longwoods International showed over 90% of people have travel plans in the next six months and many people are choosing regional destinations. Those trends will likely benefit Ohio as our state offers easy access for travelers to both big cities and inviting regions.

"People are ready to travel," said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. "Ohio is within a day's drive of 60% of the U.S. and many of our big events position the state as a great destination for visitors eager to make memories."

Some of Ohio's big events scheduled for this year include:

  • Kings Island officially celebrates 50 years of bringing families together to make memories at its 364-acre amusement and water park. Since 1972, Kings Island has been the premier entertainment destination in the Midwest for literally millions of families seeking the best in rides, live entertainment, food and events.
  • Marblehead Lighthouse expects record crowds this year as it celebrates its 200th birthday. The 50-foot lighthouse, situated along Lake Erie, is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the Great Lakes. It still guides boats as they pass the rocky shore of the Marblehead Peninsula.
  • Playhouse Square, a cluster of theaters and music halls in Cleveland, celebrates 50 years of entertainment this year. The 2022 schedule is packed with comedians, musicians, and big Broadway plays and musicals that include To Kill a Mockingbird, Waitress and Frozen.
  • The 2022 Ohio State Fair  promises to be bigger and better than ever with agriculture, rides, food, music and the iconic butter cow sculpture. The fair begins on July 27 and runs through August 7.
  • Red, White & BOOM!, the largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest, will take place on July 1. BOOM!, which celebrates its 40th year of fireworks this year, is the largest single-day event in Columbus, attracting 400,000+ visitors.
  • The Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta recently opened its 50th anniversary exhibit featuring artifacts and images from the museum's founding. The museum will host special activities all summer to celebrate the heritage of aviation and the exploration of space.

Note: The research, conducted by Longwoods International and Tourism Economics, allows Ohio. Find It Here. to track industry performance and gauge visitor trends for the purpose of marketing Ohio's distinct travel assets.

Ohioans and visitors are encouraged to share their "fave five" places to visit in Ohio in 2022 by following @OhioFindItHere on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using the hashtag #OhioFindItHere. Visit Ohio.org for travel inspiration and to plan an Ohio vacation.

Download or read a PDF version of this press release. Downloadable Digital Assets.

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About Ohio. Find It Here. Operating within Ohio's Department of Development, Ohio. Find It Here. works to position Ohio as a destination of choice to enrich lives through authentic travel experiences. The Ohio. Find It Here. brand supports Ohio's multibillion-dollar tourism industry. In 2021, the tourism industry generated $47 billion in visitor spending and welcomed 221 million visitors into and within the state. The industry also supported 411,000 Ohio jobs. For more information, visit Ohio.org.       

Media Contacts:
Celina Fabrizio, cfabrizio@werthpr.com or 614-745-9462