Northeast Ohio Seeing More Tourists
The last few years have been good for the tourism and convention business in Northeast Ohio. Visitor and convention bureaus in Cleveland and Akron both report significant growth in 2015. From Ohio Public Radio station WKSU, Kevin Niedermier has more.
Northeast Ohio continues to attract a growing number of visitors.
Last year, a record 17.6 million people traveled to Cuyahoga County according to Destination Cleveland. That's almost four percent more than the year before.
Spokesperson Jennifer Kramer credits much of the increase to new downtown Cleveland amenities.
"Especially in terms of the increased hotel supply that is now downtown and us being able to house a lot more people that are coming in for leisure visits as well as meetings and conventions. So when we talk about the growth in the rooms being sold, it grew about 10.4 percent just in downtown."
Kramer says Cleveland's image boost from this summer's Republican National Convention is helping attract more visitors as well.
The Akron area has also seen a jump in tourism.
The Akron-Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau says between 2013 and 2015, direct sales from travel and tourism grew by more than 12 percent to about $1.5 billion.
Cleveland's increase was slightly higher than the state as a whole, which logged 207 million visits in 2015, up 3.5 percent from 2014.
Nationally, domestic travel increased 3.3 percent, according to the U.S. Travel Association.