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Ohio tourism got back on track in 2021 and shows no sign of slowing down

Ohio Tourism Day  event outside the Ohio Statehouse, 2021
Ohio Find It Here
Ohio Find It Here holds a celebration for Ohio Tourism Day on May 11th at the West Plaza of the Ohio Statehouse.

Tourism bounced back to pre-pandemic levels last summer and the forecast is looking even brighter for the coming summer season.

A new report from the state’s tourism agency, Tourism Ohio, counted 219-million tourism visits in 2021. That includes all tourist activity down to a day trip, whether from out of state or Ohio residents. The report finds that all of those visits resulted in about $47 billion in spending.

Matt MacLaren is the Director of the Ohio Find It Here campaign. He says 2022 is shaping up to be an even better year.

Matt MacLaren
Ohio Find It Here campaign director

“2022 is on track to be a great year," MacLaren said. "We are hearing from partners that they have had a great spring and going into the summer we have seen research showing that over 90% of people have travel plans in the next 6 months.”

MacLaren says a big draw this summer will be the return of many events, festivals, and concerts put on hold because of the pandemic.

There are also some big events planned including the 200th anniversary celebration of the Marblehead Lighthouse and the 50th anniversary of Kings Island near Cincinnati.

Chris Abreu is a junior journalism major with a broadcast focus at Kent State with plans to graduate in May 2023. He spent his years at Kent State being heavily involved in TV2 with positions as a reporter, producer, anchor, and even News Director. He has professional reporting experience while working in Cleveland through News Lab, a reporting initiative at the university. Chris hopes to graduate and work in some form of production whether that be content creation through reporting or producing a podcast.