TourismOhio recently released the most updated economic impact metrics, and it’s safe to say that travel and tourism throughout Ohio and Summit County have continued to thrive. Just how big is the industry? The numbers may be surprising.


Summit County Data


The Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau (ASCVB) partnered with TourismOhio and Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, which handles the research and production of the report. Locally in Summit County, direct visitor spending totaled $1.7 billion in 2023, a 5.9% increase from 2022’s data of $1.57 billion. These sales focused on different industries within the county, including retail trade, recreation and entertainment, food and beverage, lodging and transportation.


Visitor activity sustained 14,929 direct jobs and another 6,220 indirect and induced jobs in Summit County. The total number of jobs supported by visitor spending accounts for 5.8% of all jobs within the county. These indirect and induced jobs include other sectors such as wholesale trade, manufacturing, construction and utilities, communications, government and more.


Visitor spending, visitor-supported jobs and business sales generated $350.3 million in government revenues. Of this, $177.7 million was in state and local taxes resulting in a savings of nearly $780 in taxes per household in Summit County.

 

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“The travel and tourism industry is a major economic driver in Summit County, generating significant revenue and supporting thousands of local jobs,” said Gregg Mervis, president & CEO of the ASCVB. “We have strong partners and valuable assets that continue to attract visitors to the area, boost local businesses and enhance our community. All these factors contribute to the thriving hospitality ecosystem in Summit County.”


The Economic Impact Report also breaks down the data regionally across the state. There are five regions and Summit County lies within the Northeast portion. This region accounts for 36% of the state's tourism sales and leads the state. Total visitor spending in the Northeast region amounted to $25.1 billion in sales and more than 181,000 jobs. Summit County accounts for 10.9% of total sales in the region, second to Cuyahoga County at 43.5%. Stark, Mahoning and Lake counties round out the top five counties by total sales, respectively.


Statewide Data


In 2023, the number of visits to Ohio reached 238 million, up 2.3% compared to 2022. The volume of visitors to the state has surpassed pre-pandemic levels for the second year in a row. In 2022 they reached 233.1 million, while in 2019 visits totaled 226.5 million. Direct visitor spending grew 5.5% to $42.8 billion. This figure includes expenditures on transportation, food and beverage, recreation, retail and lodging. The average amount per person spent on overnight trips increased 4.9% to $400 while the day trip average increased 2.4% to $124.