A team of Lake Erie Shores and Islands area tourism industry representatives joined colleagues from the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, The Ohio Travel Association and the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association on March 20th for Ohio Tourism Legislative Day 2013.
Participants included Joan Van Offeren, Dawn Weinhardt and Larry Fletcher from Lake Erie Shores & Islands, Mike and Judy Tann from Captain Montague’s B&B, and Maris Brenner from Kalahari. Meetings were held with Senator Randy Gardner and Representative Chris Redfern, both of whom reaffirmed their strong support of Ohio’s tourism industry.
Several representatives from Cedar Point also participated in the event holding meetings with legislators and Ohio Development Services Agency representatives. Cedar Fair President and CEO Matt Ouimet was also the keynote speaker at the day’s opening breakfast.
The day is designed to provide an opportunity for tourism professionals to meet with their individual elected representatives and talk tourism from both a state and local level. This year legislators learned that tourism sales generated 2.7 billion dollars in state and local taxes in 2012 and that tourism is one of the top five Ohio industry employers with a payroll of 10.6 billion dollars.
Participants were also able to assure their legislators that tourism is a wise investment for Ohio communities and the state, with TourismOhio returning $15 in state and local taxes for every $1 invested in their 2012 tourism marketing campaign.
Local issues included Erie and Ottawa County’s annual tourism sales impact of 1.5 billion dollars. This spending generates $108.3 million dollars in state and local taxes and supports more than 15,000 employed in the tourism industry.