Ottawa County Visitors Bureau Director Larry Fletcher met with several state lawmakers on March 19 about the importance of Ohio’s tourism industry. This was during the Ohio Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus’ annual State Legislative Day.
The event provides an opportunity for participants to meet with their individual elected representatives and talk tourism. The impact of the tourism industry on Ohio’s economy is shared with lawmakers and it is also a time to discuss issues of local importance.
This year legislators learned that the latest studies showed tourism sales in Ohio generated $2.7 billion dollars in state and local taxes 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 the state, with TourismOhio returning $15 in state and local taxes for every $1 invested in their annual marketing campaign.
Issues of local importance included ongoing efforts to control harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and the threats posed by Asian carp.
Over the course of the day Fletcher met with Senator Randy Gardner, Senator Dave Burke, Representative Chris Redfern and Representative Rex Damschroder. Discussions were held with several other legislators and staff during a reception following the formal appointments.
OACVB is statewide organization serving visitors bureaus throughout Ohio, helping them to maximize the economic impact of tourism via effective communication, cooperative marketing, industry education, legislative awareness, issue management, trend identification and professional development. More information is at www.oacvb.org.