County raking in tourism dollars

Special to The Gazette - [email protected]

Destination Delaware County Ohio recently presented a new Visitors Matter brochure to the Delaware County Board of Commissioners and also shared some key indicators and facts about tourism in Delaware County from an Economic Impact Study of 2017 conducted in partnership with Tourism Ohio.

The economic impact of tourism in Delaware County generated by visitor spending was $1.4 billion in 2017. The impact was up $.1 billion or $100 million from the previous study conducted for 2015. Delaware County continues to rank in the top quintile for tourism in Ohio.

“The economic impact of $1.4 billion includes the direct, indirect, and induced business sales generated by tourism spending,” said Destination Delaware County Ohio Executive Director Deb Shatzer.”

Direct tourism sales in Delaware County were $931.5 million in 2017. Visitors spending in Delaware County increased 4.7 percent over 2016.

“The study indicated visitor spending in Delaware County increased more than the central Ohio region at 3.8 percent or the State of Ohio at 3.5 percent,” Shatzer said.

The top five tourism sectors benefiting from direct visitor spending are retail at 31 percent, food and beverage at 26 percent, recreation and entertainment at 25 percent, lodging at 9 percent and transportation at 8 percent (including air).

“It’s always interesting to see how these top five sectors rank in the study,” said Shatzer, who added she is not surprised to see retail spending increase and remain at the top since Tanger Outlets and IKEA were not included in the Economic Impact Study conducted for 2015.

The study indicated visitor spending in the central Ohio region was 24.1 percent of Ohio visitor spending at $12.9 billion. Delaware County accounts for 11 percent of visitor spending in central Ohio.

The Visitors Matter brochure, which was created by Destination Delaware County Ohio to provide information for economic development, includes information regarding taxes generated and jobs sustained by tourism in Delaware County.

The tourism industry generates millions in local, state and federal tax revenues. According to the 2017 Economic Impact Study, tourism spending in Delaware County generated $167.8 million in taxes, of which $30.5 million were local. Tourism also sustained 11,557 or one in every 10 jobs in Delaware County.

“We love promoting the county to visitors,” Shatzer said. “We are excited about the new print and digital marketing campaigns we introduced this year, and our new tourism website that launched in June. There is no doubt that Delaware County is highly attractive to visitors.”

The Economic Impact Study was conducted by Longwoods International and Tourism Economics for Tourism Ohio.

Special to The Gazette

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