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Ohio brings back old tourism branding with a new look

 Two visitors at Tourism Day at the Statehouse pose with the state's new brand, "The Heart of It All", the day the new branding was unveiled.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Two visitors at Tourism Day at the Statehouse pose with the state's new brand, "The Heart of It All", the day the new branding was unveiled.

A slogan that Ohio used to bring in tourists for more than 15 years in the '80s and '90s is back. The old brand is part of a new plan to promote Ohio as a tourism destination but also a potential home.

The "Heart of It All" replaces "Find It Here," which was widely criticized when it was unveiled in 2016. Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik says going back to the old brand makes sense as the state tries to bring together its strategy for attracting tourists as well as potential residents.

"The changing of the brand — Ohio, the heart of it all — is really a more inclusive and more holistic way to talk about all of the great things that are happening here in the state of Ohio," said Mihalik.

The state says 233 million tourists spent $53 billion in Ohio last year, the highest spending ever, and up 13% from 2021. And the state's annual report says more than 424,000 Ohio jobs are linked to tourism.

Before adopting "Find It Here," the state was using the line "So Much To Discover" for its tourism marketing from 2001 to 2016.

The "Heart of It All" slogan was launched in 1984, under Democratic former Gov. Dick Celeste. He said Gov. Mike DeWine "whispered into my ear a few days ago that the slogan was going to be reborn" when they saw each other at the Ohioana Book Festival a few weeks ago.

Celeste said he was "delighted," and said the slogan "captures both something about our history, something about our geography, and I think something about our state of mind."

Along with that, "water in Ohio is is at the heart of our nation's freshwater resources," said Celeste. He said water will be a critical element of the economy in the future, "so I think I think in many respects, it is a forward looking slogan, not a backward looking slogan."

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.