Recognizing that tourism is important in bringing people and revenue to Ohio, I’ve been doing all that I can to support the industry. These efforts were further realized when legislation I cosponsored was signed into law last week, doubling the amount of state funding for tourism promotion and creating a state tourism board.

The legislation is aimed at further creating jobs in Ohio by boosting tourism through providing a revenue stream to promote it. It also sets up an advisory board to oversee the process and ensure that Ohio is getting the most bang for its buck. In the end, our tourism industry can grow in a way that does not cost the state additional cash.

Tourism is Ohio’s fourth largest industry—bringing in more than $36 billion annually—so it’s clear that many jobs in Ohio correspond to the success of the tourism industry. The tourism in our particular area is complemented by great attractions around the state, including amusements parks, zoos, lakes and scenic landscapes. With all of these places to take advantage of, it’s important that Ohio jumps on the opportunity.

The legislation creates the Office of TourismOhio, as well as a five-year pilot program that links its funding to growth in sales tax revenues of tourism-related industries. Essentially, this means that the better our tourism industry does, the more money we will have to promote it. It incentivizes being successful and ensures that the money we spend on marketing is being used in the most effective way.

In addition, the bill creates the TourismOhio Advisory Board. This group will be comprised of industry experts who are familiar with Ohio and its attractions. The members will provide guidance and support efforts to promote Ohio tourism.

One of the things I like most about the recently signed legislation is that it allows for flexibility in how the money is being spent. For instance, it could be used for a large campaign that highlights the whole state or used for more regional advertising. This means we can see what works best and go with it.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ashtabula and Trumbull counties will benefit from growth in Ohio’s tourism industry. Bringing in visitors has always played an important role here, with people coming to Lake Erie or to see our covered bridges. What’s important is that we can attract them, keep them here to spend money, and send them off happy—wanting to come back.

I plan to meet with more business owners from the district who are closely aligned with the tourism industry. It’s a priority of mine to find additional ways that the state can meet the needs of this industry. In the meantime, I encourage you to take advantage of Ohio’s many attractions.


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