Although visiting places like Florida and Texas sound appealing to many Ohioans during the winter months, they are not always ideal tourist destinations during the summer. Ohio has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism, and businesses devote a lot of energy trying to get people from not just around the state, but across the country, to patronize them.

Here in Ohio, we are blessed with countless opportunities for tourism. We are sandwiched between two bodies of water that are great for recreation. We have world-class amusement parks, as well as a number of historical museums, including ones that highlight the history of Rock-N-Roll and professional football.

While these destinations provide fun places to take the family, they also make an enormous impact on the state’s economy. In fact, tourism is the fourth-largest industry in Ohio, accounting for 439,000 jobs. It brings in about $2.6 billion in tax revenue into the state each year.

I believe part of this success is due to the effective way in which it has been promoted. An advertising campaign pushed by the Ohio Department of Development called “Too Much Fun for Just One Day” generated $14 in state and local tax revenue for every dollar invested in tourism marketing. Not many things generate a return-on-investment as successful as that.

During the current legislative session, the Ohio House has looked for ways to continue the momentum that Ohio’s tourism industry has had on our economy. Earlier this year, legislation was passed that creates a five-year pilot program known as TourismOhio. An advisory board made up of industry professionals will guide and direct the program to find ways to further promote Ohio tourism.

Funding for the program will be linked to the growth in sales tax revenues in tourism-related industries. The program will be closely monitored throughout its existence, and by the end of the five-year pilot period, the legislature will judge the program’s effectiveness and success before deciding whether to keep it.

Summer is a great time for families and friends to enjoy all that Ohio has to offer. By advertising our state as a leading tourist destination, it can also promote businesses and job opportunities to move into the state as well.


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